Vitamin D3 is created in your body when you’re in the sun — naturally, that can be a little tricky when you’re in the UK, so Vitamin D3 supplements are the way to go. …read moreSee less
This is an essential nutrient for healthy bones, teeth, and muscles, and the NHS recommends that everyone should take a 10mcg supplement every day.
Whether you’re shopping for Vitamin D3 to support your child’s development during their early years or trying to boost your mood during winter, daily supplements are there to support you.
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Are Vitamin D and Vitamin D3 the same thing?
To answer this question properly, we need to understand that Vitamin D is a type of vitamin, rather than the vitamin itself.
Vitamin D is used when we talk about Vitamins D3 and D2, which are slightly different from one another.
The main difference between the two is that Vitamin D2 comes from plant sources and Vitamin D3 comes from animal sources (e.g. cod liver oil, egg yolks).
Vitamin D3 is also created in your body when sunlight hits your skin, which is why the NHS advises Brits to take vitamin D supplements during the winter months.
If you buy Vitamin D or a multivitamin with Vitamin D included, the nutritional table on its packaging will let you know whether you’re getting Vitamin D2 or D3, so if you need one, in particular, this is where you’ll find the information you need.
How much vitamin D should I take?
The NHS recommends that everyone over the age of 4 should take 10 microgram vitamin D supplements during autumn and winter.
This is because we usually get vitamin D from sunlight hitting our skin and when the lovely British weather kicks in in the colder months it can be harder for us to catch those rays.
Although you can get vitamin D from your diet, it’s not the easiest vitamin to get enough of, which is why daily supplements step in to help.
If you’re someone who isn’t exposed to a lot of sunlight in general, you can take a vitamin D supplement all year round to help keep your levels up.
In which food is vitamin D found?
There are lots of food that can provide you with vitamin D, including fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel; dairy products, soy milk, orange juice, and cereals.
However, it is very difficult to get the recommended daily amount of vitamin D through your diet alone.
The NHS recommends people in the UK should take a 10 microgram supplement per day, but don’t exceed 100 micrograms (4,000 IU).
Who is more at risk of vitamin D deficiency?
Whilst we’re all at risk of having low vitamin D levels during the darker months in the UK, some people can be at risk all year round.
You should take a 10 microgram vitamin D supplement all year round if you spend a lot of time indoors (for example, if you’re frail or housebound), if you’re in an institution like a care home, or if you usually wear clothes that cover up most of your skin when you’re outdoors.
This also applies if you have dark skin - for example if you have an African, African-Caribbean or South Asian background - as your skin might not make enough vitamin D from sunlight alone.