10 Jan 2013

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is an essential especially at this time of year. Winter 2011 is when I was first diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency and I was constantly told by people that 'I need more sun', which is true but during the dull English winter months it isn't easy to keep Vitamin D levels High, so here is the low down on 'The Sunshine Vitamin'.

Where do we get Vitamin D from?
  • Sunshine - We get 80% of our vitamin D from the sun on our skin, which is fine in the summer months but now we are faced with cloudy days and lack of sunshine. Exposing the skin on face and arms to 30 minutes of sunshine daily (without sun cream) produces enough vitamin D, (less time for fairer skin).  Take advantage of any sunshine you see during the day and take a short walk.
  • SAD Lamps/happy lamps - There are other ways to boost up your Vitamin D levels such as using a SAD lamp in your office or bedroom for at least half an hour a day. Check with your GP before to see if this would be necessary before you go out and buy one.
  • Food - You could also munch away on Salmon, Mackerel, Tuna, Mushrooms and eggs as they have of Vitamin D in to help raise your intake
  • Supplements - You can buy vitamin D3 supplements in your local drug store and most multi vitamin tablets contain Vitamin D3 , just make sure to check. 
What does Vitamin D do for our bodies?
  • Helps to absorb calcium into our system
  • Healthy bones
  • Helps to repair and build body tissue
  • Gives you energy and boost your mood
  • Helps to fight against colds/flu
Signs of a vitamin D deficiency:

Recommended daily intake is between 10-15mcg (400-600 international units)
  • Muscular weakness
  • Fatigue/ easy tiring
  • frequent infections
  • depression 
If you think you are suffering from a Vitamin D deficiency contact your GP and ask to have a blood test to check your Vitamin D levels. A deficiency is a serious condition and if you notice any of the symptoms listed above please seek professional help, but also it is possible to have too much Vitamin D and it can also make you ill, so make sure to check with your doctor if you are concerned. 

Thank you for reading
Take care


  1. I was on a prescription Vitamin D supplement for a number of years. Then they told me I was good and let me go off it.

    In the summer, I spend nine weekends- Saturdays, Sundays, and one Monday- outdoors, literally for 12 to 14 hours each day. When I had my blood work done before the start of summer, the doctor told me my levels were "borderline". Two months after those nine weekends ended, my levels dipped below the lowest "good" point.

    I now take an over-the-counter supplement recommended by my doctor. (my insurance doesn't pay for prescriptions if I can get an OTC version).

    It makes me wonder how low my Vitamin D levels would have gotten without those nine weekends of 12 hour sun exposure.

  2. bless you. I was on 20,000 units a day for about a year or more and then got told my vitamin levels were fine. I spent everyday I could outside and ate lots of foods high in vitamin d. I now take the prescribed tablets every other day now in the winter and get outside at any sign of sunshine.

    it's weird to think how a vitamin I knew nothing about two years ago is now so important to my health.