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I recently read that the UK government guidelines are that EVERYone should take a Vitamin D supplement during the winter in the UK. I have never taken one (nor have I given them to my children) as I thought you get enough Vit D from winter sun exposure and your stores of it from the longer summer days. So now I’m feeling a bit confused as to whether I should be giving the whole family Vit D supplements. Any advice gratefully received smile

We take it every winter but we live in the North of England and get very little winter sun and often not much in the summer either, definitely not enough to create a store of it.

Despite eating a fairly balanced diet including organic produce we take a vitamin supplement including Vit D3 year round. Like sustainablemum I feel we never get enough sunshine in the North of England, so after having terrible chocolate cravings teamed with a low mood around November time 2 years in a row a few years ago and reading up about it I decided to take supplements year round. My daugher (3) takes a multivitamin containing vitamin D, too. I’ve read somewhere that it can be harmful if you take too much for too long and that it would be good to have regular blood tests, but I am wondering how supportive my GP is of this idea, considering the pressure the NHS is under already. I suppose it depends on what the service is like in your area whether a blood test would be a starting point for peace of mind.

I have recently started taking a women’s multi vitamin which has vit D in it but that wasn’t the intention. I’m taking it for the evening primrose and B vits. I live in the the very corner of the South East and i feel we get enough sun year round to build up a supply. I may be wrong though. But to be honest, in not a huge fan of artificial vitamins and i only take the ones i do because my hormonal moods was affecting everyone in my household and it couldn’t continue. None of my family take Down bits either and never have done.

When i lived in the UK (south) i made sure i spent a lot of time when ever possible walking or being outdoors (walking to work or shops) and made sure i ate pasture raised meats and eggs (we can top up our vitamin D levels this way!) But during the darkest months of the year I struggled to come in contact with any sun most days and this definitely affected my health and mood i am sure a vitamin D suplement would have helped in the winter. Xx

The Green Parent did an article called ‘Importance of Vitamin D’ which you can find on this website. I found it really informative and have recommended it to a few people since this topic has been in the news x

Thanks ladybutterfly - here’s the link xx

Thanks for everyone’s responses. Really useful and I think I have now decided to give the whole family Vit D supplements. I do make sure we always get outside every day but probably a supplement is the way forward! Thank you all! smile

It is recommended that about 10 micrograms of Vitamin D should be taken every day. However, since it is not possible to achieve this amount through diet only, taking it in supplement form is highly advisable. Vitamin D is primarily sourced from sunlight. During the winter and autumn seasons, though, not enough exposure can be expected under the sunlight. This is the main reason why it should be supplemented accordingly. Thankfully, there are a lot of vitamin D capsules currently available in the UK. In the UK, particularly during the gloomy seasons of winter and autumn, the modern lifestyles and the weather have often led to vitamin deficiencies. This is what health officials have noticed during the recent years. The prevalence of poor diet and indoor jobs have been depriving a lot of people from receiving the right amount of Vitamin D which normally comes from sunlight. Public Health England (PHE) publishes new advice on vitamin D and advise everyone in the UK to ensure intake of Vitamin D, most particularly during the darker months. On top of that, individuals who spend almost all of their time indoors, or those who cover themselves up for various reasons are also urged to take Vitamin D tablets, not just during autumn and winter, but throughout the entire year. This advice also goes to individuals who have darker skin tones. Vitamin D is also essential for absorbing calcium. Calcium, in turn, plays a vital role in maintaining the health of teeth and bones. Deficiency in Vitamin D may also lead to several other conditions, such as osteomalacia and rickets, causing bones to weaken and soften, and in worse cases, being deformed. When it comes to taking Vitamin D supplement, more does not always mean being better. It does not mean that simply because there is a lack of this vitamin during winter and autumn, you can ‘offset’ the lack of it by getting too much of it.

As a matter of fact, doing so can be quite harmful to your health. If you notice, most products include a warning in their label, reminding consumers not to take over 1,000 IU every day. The moment you notice some signs such as weakness and nausea, these may be signs of Vitamin D toxicity. You can take up to 2,000 IU if it is appropriate and safe for you.
A daily dose of 400 IU vitamin D supplement is recommended all year long for infants and children under the age of 5 years.
Also, consuming more than what is required in a day just to achieve a higher dosage of Vitamin D may result in a toxic dose of a different vitamin, especially Vitamin A.

I personally do a full blood test and with it I can know my vitamin levels and other elements in my blood and body. It is the safest way to know if there is a deficit

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