In the UK between late March/early April until the end of September, most of us at this time of year, can synthesise vitamin D from the sunshine!
The amount of time required to synthesise enough vitamin D is not known, as there are a few variables which play a role in the synthesis. It is roughly a short period of time for lower legs, forearms and hands; however, it is important to ensure that you do not burn and if out for long periods of time sun protection should be used.
Synthesis can be impacted by:
- Skin colour (dark skin takes longer to synthesise the same amount of vitamin D as someone with light skin)
- How much skin is uncovered
You also cannot synthesise vitamin D through a window, as the UV rays which are needed cannot go through glass.
There are some groups which should consider talking to their health care professional and supplementing all year round (10mcg (400IU) per day), these include:
- Babies from birth-1 year should have a daily supplement of 8.5-10mcg per day if breastfed. Those having over 500ml of formula milk a day should not supplement as the formula is fortified with vitamin D
- All children aged 1-4 years should be given a daily supplement of 10mcg
- Those who aren’t often exposed to sunlight should also consider a 10mcg supplement
Unfortunately, in the winter between September to late March in the UK, we are no longer able to synthesise vitamin D from sunshine. So, what can we do? Well it is recommended that between the months of September to late March/early April we supplement for our vitamin D.
How Much Do We Need to Take?
It is advised that adults and children over the age of 1 supplement with 10mcg (400IU) a day. Unless recommended by a doctor or a dietician about a higher dose, you do not need to exceed this recommendation.
You can also get a small amount of Vitamin D from food sources, these include
- Oily fish
- Egg yolks
- Some mushrooms if they have been exposed to UV rays
- Fortified foods
What Does Vitamin D Do?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means we store it in our fat tissue. It is involved in keeping our bones, teeth and muscles healthy; absorbing calcium and phosphate; as well as being linked to helping our immune system; reducing inflammation; and potentially even playing a role with heart conditions, diabetes and asthma.
Daisy, MSc PGDip ANutr, is a Registered Associate Nutritionist with a Master's Degree in Public Health Nutrition, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition, both of which are Association for Nutrition (AFN) accredited. She, also, has a BSc degree in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience; and has completed an AFN accredited Diet Specialist Nutrition course.
Daisy has worked for an NHS funded project, the Diabetes Prevention Programme; and shadowed a nutritionist in Harley Street.
About Lucy Bee Limited
Any information provided by us is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. We always recommend referring your health queries to a qualified medical practitioner.
Lucy Bee is a lifestyle brand selling food, skincare and soap products all completely free from palm oil and with minimal use of plastic. Lucy Bee is concerned with Fair Trade, organic, ethical and sustainable living, recycling and empowering people to make informed choices and select quality, natural products for their food and their skin.