A government commissioned report published in July 2016 has given the unprecedented recommendation that everybody in the UK should take a Vitamin D supplement in Autumn and Winter.
For those who at a higher risk of deficiency including ethnic minority groups with dark skin and those who cover up for religious reasons such as nuns and those who wear veils, the recommendation is to supplement with vitamin D the whole year round.
In a change from previous advice, the new recommendations from Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) includes a recommendation for a ‘safe intake’ of 8.5 – 10mcg for babies from birth to 1 years of age, and a RNI of 10mcg throughout the year for everyone in the general population aged 4 years and older including breastfeeding women.
It’s estimated that 1 in 5 people in the UK are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is vital for the body and a deficiency can lead to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults which can result in severe muscle and bone pain.
Small amounts of vitamin D can be found in oily fish, fortified cereals and eggs. The major source (80% - 100%) of Vitamin D is sunshine but for those of us living in the UK this can be very difficult to achieve with sun strength, skin cancer concerns and skin exposure all limiting absorption.
Here at Nutri Advanced, we’ve been recommending vitamin D supplementation with good reason for years but we’d stress that the vitamin quality is incredibly important as Laura Murphy, Senior Nutritionist here at Nutri explains.
‘We welcome these new guidelines from SACN but would add that as well as the need to take a vitamin D supplement, it’s vital we educate people on choosing the right supplement.‘
‘Choosing a vitamin D supplement that uses the body’s preferred form – D3 – the same form that the body procures naturally in response to sunlight will maximise absorption. For children and babies we would recommend Vitamin D drops which are easier for youngsters to swallow and can be diluted in drinks.’