Dr Ellie on why people should be taking Vitamin D supplements
With pharmacy shelves overflowing with dietary products of various shapes and sizes, it’s hard to navigate the world of supplements.
It might be tempting to stock up on overpriced bottles in a bid to improve your health, but less can be more.
Fortunately, Dr Michael Mosley helped to settle this dilemma and shared the one supplement that you should definitely add to your medical cabinet.
What’s more, the doctor said that “almost everyone in the UK” should be taking this vital nutrient.
The health expert took part in a Q&A session on Mumsnet earlier this week, where he issued this helpful advice.
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One question on the forum read: “Is there a need to take supplements, or is it possible to get all necessary vitamins and minerals from one’s diet, and still keep a healthy weight?”
In his answer, Dr Mosley first outlined the importance of taking vitamin D each day during the autumn and winter months.
He penned: “Although, at the moment, you will be topping up your vitamin D levels every time you go outside, the NHS recommends that almost everyone in the UK should be taking vitamin D between October and March, and those with a darker skin should be taking it year round.”
Your body can synthesise vitamin D organically from the sunshine just by spending time outdoors with your skin bare.
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Therefore, most people are able to make all the vitamin D they need between spring and autumn just by spending time outdoors and eating a balanced diet.
However, the sun can be a rare sight during the winter and autumn months in the UK, leaving many in need of other sources of vitamin D for a steady supply.
The NHS states: “During the autumn and winter, you need to get vitamin D from your diet because the sun is not strong enough for the body to make vitamin D.
“But since it’s difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone, everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter.”
Apart from highlighting vitamin D, Dr Mosley also recommended taking a calcium supplement for older adults.
He said: “Calcium is another mineral you need to be sure you are getting enough of because osteoporosis (thinning bones) becomes much more common as we get older. But if you supplement, don’t overdo it as it can cause stomach pain.”
Furthermore, he added that those who follow a vegan diet should take a vitamin B12 supplement, which is involved in making red blood cells and keeping the nervous system healthy.
This is because the nutrient is mainly found in animal-derived foods like milk, eggs and salmon, which are avoided by vegans.
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