Do you take Vitamin D even when the sun is shining?

Vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin because exposure to sunshine helps our body to manufacture it.


Vitamin D was discussed a lot in the winter when Public Health England (PHE) recommended that everyone consider vitamin D supplementation.
So why do we need Vitamin D? Well, it helps to control the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies. Both are needed for healthy bones, teeth and muscles but from the Slim for Good perspective it’s really important for 2 main reasons:

1. It’s shown to play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression and mood has a big part to play on emotional eating and weight release success.
2. To lose weight! A study by Geneviève C. Major et al, (2) showed that taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement people were able to lose more weight than subjects taking a placebo.

So now the sun is shining is there any need to keep supplementing? Here are a few reasons why I think it’s a good idea:

o Well we can get some Vitamin D from our diet as it is found naturally in a small number of foods, including oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolks but it’s difficult to get enough from food alone.
o Even with sun exposure, the amount of vitamin D our body might produce depends on so many factors: The time of exposure, the amount of cloud cover, how much sun screen you use and your skin colour – fair people need less exposure than dark skinned people. However, it’s shown that here in the UK, we don’t always get enough sunlight to boost Vitamin D production and this is true even on our long Summer days.

The other consideration is that Vitamin D is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins that we need: vitamins A, D, E, and K. All the other vitamins are water-soluble. This means that how well the vitamin is absorbed and stored depends on how much fat we eat. A study by Dawson-Hughes et al, 2017 showed 32% higher vitamin D level absorption when people ate a meal with 30 grams of fat, compared to a fat-free meal. So, avoid a low-fat diet. Remember that fat doesn’t make you fat carbohydrates and sugar make you fat.

Vitamin D supplements have always been advised for certain groups:
• Dark skinned people
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women
• The over 65s
• Children up to the age of 4 and babies under 1 year if they’re not already getting it in infant formula.

Now though vitamin D supplementation is recommended for everyone. That’s without considering our climate and whether or not you even want to expose yourself to the sun anyway. But even if you are sun-worshipper with our great British unpredictable weather (the sun has disappeared whilst writing this blog!) making a vitamin D supplement part of your daily routine is surely a no-brainer? So, how much supplementation? The Vitamin D Council recommends 5000iu a day for adults all year round but taking into account the above factors you could reduce this to 1000iu in the summer if you expose your skin without sunscreen to the sun/eyes without sunglasses for short period a day (10 – 20 minutes).

If you want a good quality supplement I recommend Cytoplan (Hanley Swan. You can buy Vitamin D drops for about £10 with my discount code. I think you are worth it! (as me if you want any guidance)

1) Dawson-Hughes B, Harris SS, Lichtenstein AH, Dolnikowski G, Palermo NJ, Rasmussen H. Dietary fat increases vitamin D-3 absorption,2014 Nov 17.

2) Geneviève C. Major, Francine P. Alarie, Jean Doré and Angelo Tremblay Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and fat mass loss in female very low-calcium consumers: potential link with a calcium-specific appetite control, July 2008