These longer days here in the UK, now mean we get a longer daylight exposure to sunlight, and the majority of the population can officially stop taking daily Vitamin D supplements
Through the UK winter months, from September-March, all UK residents should be taking a 10ug supplement of vitamin D to meet our daily requirements.
Where do we get our Vitamin D from?
The majority of fat-soluble vitamin D is sourced from natural sunlight, with very few foods actually being a good source (including oily fish, egg yolks & red meat, and sun-exposed mushrooms!)
But luckily only a short period of daily sunlight exposure on the forearms during the summer months is enough to reach your daily vitamin D requirements, so there is no need to sacrifice your risk of skin cancer to meet those requirements (suncream is a saviour.)
How do we produce Vitamin D through our skin?
The second UV type, UV-B radiation, is absorbed by the skin and is hydroxylated by the liver and then kidney to form a biologically-active form that is useful to the body.
Why is this so important?
Vitamin D is key for bone health and immune support, aiding the absorption of calcium and phosphate from our diet, with only 10-15% of dietary calcium being absorbed when Vit.D isn’t present!
However, incidence of rickets (which is the consequence of vitamin D deficiency) is actually increasing in the UK population, despite it being considered a disease of ‘Victorian poverty’.
Those most at risk of deficiency are those that spend most of their time inside or are always covered up, and those with darker skin who require longer sun exposure.
Go get those chestnut mushrooms and chase that sunshine!