When is the best time to take vitamin D?
You may not realize that for most of us there is actually a best time to take vitamin D. This is because in most of the world we experience climate fluctuation and the amount of sunlight we are exposed to. the year. Since vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin”, it is important that we get enough exposure to UV rays to ensure that we do not develop deficiencies, as the sun is our main source of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is not only important on its own, it also helps us absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are the most abundant minerals found in our skeleton. If we have vitamin D deficiency, we also expose ourselves to diseases related to calcium and phosphorus deficiency, which mainly impact our bone health.
If you’re worried about getting enough vitamin D during the colder months, you might want to start taking the best vitamin d supplements to support your health.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin important for the absorption of calcium and phosphate, which means it is an essential component for the maintenance of good bone health.
Dora Walsh, Registered Dietitian for Berocca Immuno, (opens in a new tab) explains that vitamin D can be difficult to obtain through food sources. “It’s very difficult to get vitamin D from food because only a few foods are rich in vitamin D, such as oily fish, butter, eggs, and sun-dried mushrooms,” she explains. “Therefore, vitamin D supplementation is something to consider. If we lack vitamin D, there is a risk that it will naturally weaken our immune system.
A study in Vnitrni Lekarstvi, (opens in a new tab) a Czech community medical journal, states that vitamin D is especially important for children and adolescents whose bones are still growing, and older people at risk of osteoporosis (bone thinning). Vitamin D is also used by the body to help repair damage, reduce inflammation, and aid in processes such as cell growth and immune function.
Dr. Liakas, Cosmetic Surgeon and Medical Director of Harley Street Medical and Cosmetic Clinic, Aesthetic Life (opens in a new tab)tell us more about what is vitamin d used for. “Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin involved in many essential bodily functions,” he says. “There are 2 forms of vitamin D in our diets and supplements: vitamin D2; which is interestingly found in certain mushrooms and vitamin D3; found in fatty fish, fish liver oil and egg yolks. Almost every cell in your body has a receptor for vitamin D. It’s essential for many processes, including bone health, immune system function, and can help fight cancer.
Hannah Braye, Registered Nutritionist and Technical Advisor at Bio-Kult (opens in a new tab), told Fit&Well about the impact vitamin D can have on gut health. “The gut is one of the most important target organs for vitamin D,” she says. “Research shows that optimal vitamin D status plays an important role in maintaining gut health through numerous regulatory activities such as; absorption of calcium and phosphate, protection against infections, preservation of the intestinal mucosa, anti-inflammatory action and modulation of intestinal microbes.
Hannah is a qualified nutritional therapist having studied for three years at the College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM) in Bristol, where she graduated with an award for outstanding performance. She is a member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) and listed on the Complementary and Natural Health Care Council (CNHC) Accredited Register.
Dora Walsh is an mBANT Registered Nutritionist, mBANT Registered Nutritional Therapist CNHC is one of the UK’s most sought after nutritionists, wellbeing experts, presenters, brand advisors and writers.
Dr. Ioannis Liakas
Prior to becoming an industry leading cosmetic doctor, Dr Ioannis Liakas worked for the NHS for over 20 years. As an award-winning esthetician, he has appeared on television and in the press to educate consumers about safety and the latest medical innovations. Among his growing list of accomplishments, he is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP), Honorary Lecturer at Queen Mary Medical School and a Fellow of the British College of Aesthetic Medicine.
When is the best time to take vitamin D?
If you live in a less sunny climate all year round, it is recommended to take a vitamin D supplement from October to March, because the sun’s rays are less strong during this period. However, some groups will need to take a vitamin D supplement all year round.
We spoke to Rhiannon Lambert, Registered Nutritionist and Founder of Rhitrition+ (opens in a new tab), which explained further. “For some people, there may be circumstances where they might be at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency,” she says. “In these cases, it is recommended to consider vitamin D supplementation throughout the year. She tells us those at particular risk include:
Rhiannon Lambert is a registered nutritionist and founder of leading nutrition clinic Rhitrition. After releasing her first bestseller Re-Nourish: A Simple Way to Eat Well, Rhiannon went from author to podcast host and is the creator of the health podcast Food for Thought.
- “Those with darker skin, such as those from Africa, Africa-Caribbean or southern
- The Asian descent, who lives in the UK or other northern climates, may not produce enough vitamin D during the summer months
- If you spend a lot of time indoors as you may be homebound or frail
- Those who are in institutions
- People who wear clothes that cover most of their skin when outdoors.
How does your body process vitamin D?
Although you can get vitamin D from food sources and supplements, the best way to provide your body with this nutrient is to expose your skin to sunlight for short periods throughout the day. Although sun protection is important in reducing your risk of developing skin cancer, you may want to set aside time each day to be outside in daylight. Even on cloudy days, we are still exposed to UV rays, so it doesn’t have to be nice and sunny outside for our skin to produce vitamin D, especially in the summer months. .
Lambert goes into more detail about how our bodies convert sunlight into a usable vitamin. “To be able to be used by the body, the vitamin D that we get from the sun and our diet has to go through a certain conversion process,” she says. “The vitamin D we get from the UVB rays of the sun reacts with enzymes in our skin cells and is converted and eventually restructured into vitamin D3.”
Can you take too much vitamin D?
If you take more than the recommended amount of vitamin D, you put yourself at risk for vitamin D toxicity, which is usually characterized by a buildup of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia). Symptoms can include nausea, muscle weakness, and frequent urination.
Dr. Liakas warns against overdoing it with vitamin D supplements. “Taking too many vitamin D supplements over a long period of time can lead to excessive calcium buildup in the body,” he explains. “As a result, your bones may start to weaken and heart and kidney damage could be possible. If you choose to take supplements to improve your health, about 10 micrograms a day is enough for most people!