Ever heard someone shouting out ‘Just gonna grab some vitamin D’ referring to the fact that they are laying out in the sun, working on their tan? Well, being out in the sun is one of the main places that a lot of people get their vitamin D and the reason that vitamin D itself isn’t actually classed as an essential dietary vitamin.
Now, answer this….. How many days of sun do you actually get in ‘Sunny England’? Are you really able to go outside and absorb plenty of vitamin D from the sunlight?
This is why I would personally class Vitamin D as an essential vitamin to supplement with throughout the year and especially during the winter time.
What is it actually used for?
There is evidence that vitamin D will aide the development of a strong immune system, the fight against cardiovascular disease and fighting depression. Vitamin D has also been shown to enhance muscle function, reduce inflammation and even help fight cancer. Vitamin D is also very helpful during pregnancy and one of the most evident uses is increasing your bone health. There is also further evidence that it aides the body in increasing your natural free testosterone levels.
Can you get a good source of Vitamin D from food?
Your body makes vitamin D in reaction to the sun, however there are a small number of foods that contain Vitamin D. The main sources are Fish oils, tuna, salmon, liver, egg yolks, cheese, and fortified margarine and yogurts (although personally if something is fortified I’d like to wonder why!)
How much should you aim for?
The daily values at the moment are set at around 400iu for adults and children over 4 years old in UK and US depending on where you check. This is recommended before you take into account daily activities such as the stresses at work, toxicity in our diets, toxins in the air and then the training we put ourselves through. So in reality we would need a lot more than this which is why most tablets you will see will be about 2000-3000% RDA, it seems a bit over the top but in reality it is definitely not.
The government do not require the actual amounts of vitamin D to be included on the packaging of food items unless they’re fortified. Therefore, it really is hard to tell the amounts that you are getting, especially with a lot of dull days. Most people seem to be having less than they their daily requirements of Vitamin D and therefore they are missing the benefits. I would aim for supplementing with one tablet a day which is around 5000iu if you go by the Pure Vitamin D3 from Bodybuilding Warehouse. Due to the vitamin being fat soluble, having it with a fatty meal will be ideal in order to aid absorption into the body.
What if I take too much Vitamin D?
Yes, as with most things there can be side effects, and one of the side effects of too much vitamin D is toxicity. However, we are talking about consistently hitting levels above 50,000iu per day which is very unlikely in the UK climate.