At Novomins, we've developed a range of delicious and nutritious gummy vitamins. One of the many vitamin gummies we offer is vitamin D3. But what is vitamin D actually for, and is it safe for you to take a supplement?
What vitamin D is for
Vitamin D is there to help with calcium and phosphate regulation in your body. These are the nutrients that are necessary for keeping your muscles, teeth, and bones healthy. If you're lacking vitamin D, it can contribute to certain deformities of the bones, such as rickets and a painful condition known as osteomalacia in children and adults respectively.
Where can you get vitamin D naturally?
Vitamin D can be absorbed from sunlight, which means in a good weather period from roughly the end of March through to September's end, the sun should provide most if not all of the body's natural vitamin D requirement. Through the late autumn and winter months, it's much harder to get the vitamin D you need from the sun, however, due to changing weather and less daylight. You can also find vitamin D sources from certain foods. Oily fish, including salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines, are all good sources. Red meat and liver also contain vitamin D. Egg yolks and certain fortified foods, like fatty spreads and breakfast cereals, are also sources. For many, however, vitamin supplements are one of the most effective and efficient ways of boosting their intake.
How much vitamin D is necessary?
During spring and summertime, if the weather is fine, most people should be able to get most if not all of the sunlight they need through exposure to sunlight on their skin. From the age of 1, children need roughly 10 micrograms of daily vitamin D. This will include women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as others who may be at risk of a vitamin D deficiency. Up to the age of 1, 8.5 to 10 daily vitamin D micrograms are required.
Is a supplement right for you?
Through autumn and winter, you'll likely need to boost your vitamin D intake from your diet because there won't be enough sunlight to provide it naturally. Many people find it difficult to get the required vitamin D they need from food alone, however, so supplements can become invaluable in ensuring that you get enough. A daily 10 microgram supplement will ensure you get all the vitamin D your body needs through these months. Through spring and summer, a combination of natural sunlight and a healthy balanced diet should see the majority of people getting all the vitamin D they need naturally. It's a wise idea to keep supplements on hand, however, to ensure you're able to boost yourself up on days with bad weather.
Who is at risk of vitamin D deficiency?A lack of exposure to sunlight can mean certain people become at risk of not getting enough vitamin D. In this circumstance, it's recommended by the Department of Health and Social Care to take a daily 10 microgram supplement throughout the year. This may apply to someone if they:
- Are unable to go outside very often, due to frailty, disability, or being housebound
- Live in an institution such as a care home where exposure to the outside world is limited
- Often wear clothes that cover up a large portion of your skin when outdoors in fine weather
Those with darker skin complexions, such as anyone with an African, Afro-Caribbean, or South-Asian background, may also find difficulty in making up enough vitamin D from exposure to sunlight alone. In any of the above circumstances, a 10 microgram daily vitamin D supplement can be beneficial.
Infants and young children
From the age of 1 year old, it's recommended by the Department of Health and Social Care that babies receive an 8.5 to 10 microgram supplement of vitamin D daily through the year. This applies if they're breastfed or fed by less than 500ml of formula a day. Note that many formulas are already fortified using vitamin D. Between 1 and 4 years old, a daily 10 microgram vitamin D supplement should be given. Novomins make a perfect choice because they're gummy, which makes them much more pleasant to take than many other kinds of vitamin.
What are the effects of too much vitamin D?
Over time, taking an excess of vitamin D can cause too much calcium build-up in the body, otherwise known as hypercalcemia. This can cause weakness in the bones and can potentially damage both the kidneys and the heart. As such, if you do choose to take vitamin D supplements, make sure you don't take a daily supplement of over 10 micrograms a day. Anything over 100 micrograms of vitamin D daily can be potentially harmful. This is for all adults, including the elderly and pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as children between 11 and 17. For children between 1 and 10 years old, their daily dosage of vitamin D should not be more than 50 micrograms, or 25 micrograms maximum dose for children under 12 months old. Certain medical conditions may mean that your capacity to develop and absorb vitamin D is compromised, which means the amount your body requires changes. Consult your doctor if you're unsure, to be positive you're able to take the correct amount for your body and your system. Too much vitamin D cannot be absorbed from sunlight, however, skin damage and cancers become an issue, so be sure to take appropriate protection if you're outside for long periods of time.