So, this week there's been plenty in the press about Vitamin D. New advice from Public Health England (PHE) that children over the age of one and adults should have 10 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D every day, which means that you might want to consider taking at Vitamin D supplement. Should you? And why?
Vitamin D happens to be the one supplement I do take consistently and that I give the children in the autumn and winter. Why? I spend plenty of time outside and have a healthy diet with plenty of fish and eggs.
It is hard to get enough vitamin D from our food and from October until March we don't get any vitamin D from sunlight. Our body doesn't store vitamin D so it needs to be topped up. And vitamin D is vital for healthy bones. It helps to regulate calcium and phosphate in the body and these nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
It's important for children with growing bones, but also for healthy adults and the elderly. Our bodies need the right nutrition to continually support all aspects of our health and fitness, including bone health.
In the summer you need to expose your skin to sunlight for 10-15 minutes before you put sunscreen on (before you go pink) in order to get enough vitamin D. Of course it's still important to wear sunscreen and limit your time in the sun in the middle of the day.
It's enough of a story that I was interviewed by Sky News today (hence the picture of me holding a camera – I persuaded the camera man to let me hold it for a moment...he was a little nervous).
There's a useful overview here http://www.nhs.uk/news/2016/07July/Pages/The-new-guidelines-on-vitamin-D-what-you-need-to-know.aspx
It's important to note that you can take too much vitamin D, which can lead to a build up of calcium in the blood, so it's best not to exceed the guidelines.
There's also a really interesting article summarising some of the health benefits of Vitamin D from Jen Reviews here which also includes a summary of food sources for the vitamin.