You may have heard that the vitamin D recommendations are changing and wondering if you are getting enough. It is very difficult to achieve adequate vitamin D intake from diet alone, but the majority of people in the UK will synthesise vitamin D from the UVB rays in sunlight during the summer months. As vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, this will provide adequate stores over the winter months.
However, emerging evidence suggests that recent changes to public health messages to stay out of the sun and to wear sunscreen may be preventing some people from getting enough vitamin D from sunlight. In addition to this, many other factors can influence our ability to synthesise vitamin D including pollution, cloud cover, clothing, age and limited access to sunlight during the peak hours of 11am to 3pm.
In July this year, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition SACN released their report on changes to recommended vitamin D intakes. Professor Hilary Powers, chair of the SACN Vitamin D working group, said: “Following an in-depth review of the scientific evidence and a lengthy consultation process, SACN is recommending that everyone aged one year and over has a dietary intake of 10micrograms per day of vitamin D in order to protect their bone and muscle health.”
Why is vitamin D important?
The vitamin D recommendations are to ensure that the majority of the UK population has satisfactory vitamin D blood levels throughout the year, in order to protect musculoskeletal health. The recommendations refer to the average intake over a period of time, such as one week, and take into account day-to-day variations in vitamin D intake.
SACN also looked at possible links between vitamin D and non-musculoskeletal health outcomes including cancer, multiple sclerosis and cardiovascular disease, but found insufficient evidence to draw any firm conclusions.
Want to find out more?
On Friday morning at 280 Kings Road we will be holding a stand on Vitamin D where you can find out more information and ask questions.