A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 10 years ago, found that between 70-80% of people are deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression. This Vitamin is rarely found in our food supply, so supplementation is key.
What is Vitamin D?
Our bodies synthesise this vitamin/steroid when our skin is exposed to sunlight. Studies show during summer months our bodies produce 6IUs of vitamin D per CM2 of exposed skin. Given the fact that most of us are in the office during the summer, or slathered with SPF50 when we’re not, means that we rarely produce sufficient amounts for optimal health. In the winter we get even less. We’re covered from head to toe. We barely get any sunlight due to cloud cover and minimal sunlight hours. Meaning you’re more likely to get flu, catch colds and get the winter blues. Those with darker skin colours, absorb less sunlight then those who have lighter skin tones. Another reason to supplement.
Vitamin D also has profound effects on several ailments and supplementation has shown marked improvements in sports performance, reduction of body fat, healthy metabolism, calcium absorption, flu and colds, diabetes, depression and various other neurological disorders.
The current recommended intake of vitamin D 10ug or 400 IU for adults age 19-50. Recent studies have suggested that this recommended intake is too low. Serum 25-OH D3 should be as high 90nmol/L (the best measure of bioactive Vitamin D in the body). To reach this higher concentration of Vitamin D, the average person needs to intake 50ug/d or 2000 IU of Vitamin D. It’s unpredictable how much Vitamin D you will get from the sun. Depending on the season and where you live, so it’s best to stick with taking 2000 IU / day from a supplement. There is no evidence of any toxic effects with intakes as high a 10,000 IU or 200 ug, so you should be fine even if you take the supplement and get a lot of sun.
What to buy
Which is best? When buying Vitamin D, make sure to go for the D3 variety as it is more biologically available. I recommend going for a liquid capsule version too. Most quality vitamin brands will have capsules ranging from 2,000 – 5,000 IUs with some form of Oil in them (coconut or olive). As D3 is fat soluble. So, you want to improve sports performance, lose body fat or beat those winter blues? I highly recommend you invest in a good quality supplement.
My personal recommendation: Pure Pharma D3