SUPPLEMENTS: Vitamin D supplementation recommended during winter
May 19, 2020 • 1 min read
-- Take the ‘sunshine vitamin’ when the sun don’t shine
Lockdowns and fewer sunshine hours can lead to a deficiency in Vitamin D, inhibiting the human body’s ability to ward off illness and infections.
Health authorities, including Public Health England, say people should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement to boost their reserves over the winter months.
Vitamin D is important for healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. A deficiency can lead to a bone deformity illness called rickets in children and a similar bone weakness condition called osteomalacia in adults.
Some studies suggest avoiding a deficiency helps our resilience to common colds and flu, although there is no evidence that vitamin D boosts the immune system.
The U.S. National Academy of Medicine considers 600–800 IU of daily vitamin D to be sufficient for most of the population, while the U.S. Endocrine Society recommends 1,500–2,000 IU per day.
But don’t overdo it
A 2019 study published on JAMA discovered a potential safety concern with taking high levels of vitamin D. Daily doses of 4000 IU and 10,000 IU were linked to hypercalciuria (elevated levels of calcium in the urine) – a condition associated with increased risk of kidney stones and impaired kidney function.
Natural sources of vitamin D also include fatty fish and seafood.