How Essential is Vitamin D?

Updated: Nov 18, 2020


VITAMIN D: Importance of testing


As we approach the winter months it is important to start thinking about vitamin D and whether you need to supplement. Never has this been more crucial, not only with the emphasis around maintaining a healthy immune system, but because our recent change to home working means potentially even less exposure to sunlight than previous winters.


What is Vitamin D and where do we get it?

Vitamin D is a hormone synthesised by the body when our skin is exposed to sunlight. When the body has enough, it switches off production regardless of how much time we spend in the sun.

What does Vitamin D do?

Vitamin D is fundamental to our health and wellbeing. It plays a vital role in parts of the body such as the immune system where it acts as a potent anti-inflammatory and bone health where it helps the body to absorb calcium.

Do I need to supplement?

As we approach the winter months we must ensure we maintain a healthy level, but note, by supplementing we are removing the body’s ability to switch off production when stores are full. Vitamin D is not easily removed from the body and excess levels can lead to a build-up of calcium in the blood.

Everyone uses and stores vitamin D in different ways so the correct dose for one person may be different to the next. If you haven’t been exposed to substantial sunlight for around 6-8 weeks this would be a good time to be tested and find out what your vitamin D level is.

If your level is good, it may not be necessary for you to supplement as you may store vitamin D well. In this case, it may be worth having another test in the new year to see if the level has been maintained over the winter months. If you have just adequate levels, you may want to top up over winter. If your levels are low, you may need a higher dose supplement.

If you are unsure, seek professional advice to ensure you are supplementing correctly.


For testing speak to your GP or you can find test kits online e.g. https://www.vitamindtest.org.uk/

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