Long periods of self-isolation can make it hard to get the recommended level of Vitamin D3. Here we look at the effects of a vitamin D3 deficiency and explain how you can help your body to get enough vitamin D3 through your diet and careful sun exposure.
Spring typically sees the UK shift towards longer, sunnier days which can give our Vitamin D3 levels a boost.
However, this year UK residents face prolonged periods indoors as the government enforces a lockdown to try and reduce the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
It is incredibly important that we all adhere to the government’s social distancing programme but do also take care to ensure your D3 intake does not drop to deficiency levels.
WHY DO WE NEED VITAMIN D3?
Vitamin D3 has been shown to be vital in the development of healthy bones and muscles, as well as being a factor in preventing other conditions.
The most well-known consequence of a vitamin D deficiency is the development of rickets.
Once rickets was considered to be a problem of the past but, according to the NHS, UK cases of rickets disease have increased in recent yearsi.
4 NATURAL WAYS TO SUPPORT YOUR INTAKE OF VITAMIN D3
LET THE SUNSHINE IN
UVB rays have an important role to play in encouraging our bodies to produce vitamin D3. If you have a garden or a balcony, aim to spend 15-30 minutes outside daily.
If you do not have access to outside space, use your outside exercise time to get some fresh air and a top up of vitamin D3.
It is generally understood that between 15 and 30 minutes of daily sun exposure will synthesis a sufficient level of vitamin D3 in most people.
The torso produces the most, followed by legs and arms, but the hands and face produce very little. Sun cream blocks a very high percentage (usually over 90%) of vitamin D3 production so this time in the sun should be spent without UV protection.*
Always remember that the sun’s UV rays can be harmful to our skin and you should never let your skin become burnt or reddened during UV exposure. While the initial discomfort of sunburn can be relived with a cooling Aloe Vera After Sun, UV damage that extends to deep skin tissues is often irreversible.
It remains important to apply sun cream regularly and liberally during the hottest hours of the day and when exposing your skin for the sun for a prolonged period of time. Find advice on how to apply sun cream.
MAKE A SUNSHINE SALAD
Another way to increase your Vitamin D3 intake through dietary changes. Oily fish and eggs are great sources of Vitamin D and can be used to make a health seafood or tuna niçoise salad.
Alternatively, you can get a Vitamin D3 boost from your breakfast. In addition to eggs, some cereals and spreads are fortified with Vitamin D.
SUPPORT WITH A VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENT
Some groups are more vulnerable to Vitamin D3 deficiency that others so if you don’t think you’re get enough Vitamin D3 through sunlight exposure or dietary sources, you may wish to consider taking a Vitamin D supplement.
These are available from many health food shops and supermarkets, and the Department of Health recommends that those spending little time outdoors take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin Dii.
Children under the age of 1 will have different vitamin D needs depending on their feeding routines. Current NHS advice states that breastfed babies should support their vitamin D intake with an age-appropriate supplements containing 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D.
If your baby is formula fed, the NHS advices that they do not supplement their vitamin D levels until their intake of formula drops to less than 500ml a day, this is because many feeding formulas are already fortified with vitamin Dii.
If you do decide to supplement your or your infant’s vitamin D levels, we strongly suggest that you take appropriate guidance from your pharmacist or post-natal care team. It can be harmful to take too much vitamin F and the NHS recommends taking care not to exceed their maximum daily dosage guidelines. For adults this is 100 micrograms, for children 1-10 this is 50 micrograms and for infants this is 25 micrograms.
Please consult your doctor, pharmacist or other health professional for further information about the appropriate dosage. They may also be able to help with testing for vitamin D deficiency.
Our customer care team is happy to help with any questions you may have about our natural sun creams. Please call us on 01403 740350 or contact us on social @GreenPeopleUK
*If you have any skin conditions or use any products that may make your skin more sensitive to the sun, please refer to your doctor’s advice and product guidelines.