Vitamin D – The Sunshine Vitamin

By Danny Webber
Danny Webber is a SENr registered practitioner, an ISAK certified Anthropometrist and a UK Anti-Doping accredited adviser.
| Updated on January 6, 2021

Nutrition Advent Calendar – Day 18⠀

Vitamin D – The Sunshine Vitamin⠀

If you’re unaware of the important roles that vitamin D plays in the body, hopefully this will give you an insight into how and why you should avoid vitamin D deficiency. ⠀

vitame-d Vitamin D is a pro-hormone that is primarily obtained from direct sunlight exposure to the skin (vitamin D3). It can also be obtained through certain foods (oily fish, mushrooms, fortified dairy & cereals) but this alone cannot satisfy the body’s requirements (vitamin D2). ⠀

winter-month During winter months we are deprived of sunshine, meaning people are likely to be deficient in vitamin D. Therefore the best way to maintain vitamin D levels is through supplementation. A safe and effective dosage is 1,000-4,000IU per day (upper limit for athletes and individuals with severe deficiency). ⠀

I recommend that you get your vitamin D levels checked first before taking a supplement to determine what dosage is best for you. You should be able to get this done at your GP. ⠀

Vitamin D is important for:⠀
right Promotes calcium homeostasis for bone health⠀
right Muscle function & strength⠀
right Immune function⠀
right Weight management/fat loss⠀
right Glucose & insulin sensitivity ⠀

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to an increased risk of:⠀
wrong Poor bone health⠀
wrong Muscle wasting⠀
wrong Diabetes⠀
wrong Weight gain⠀
wrong Cancer⠀
wrong Rheumatoid arthritis⠀
wrong Multiple sclerosis ⠀
wrong Illness, injury & falls⠀

Who is most susceptible to vitamin D deficiency?⠀
right Elderly ⠀
right Darker skinned individuals⠀
right Indoor sport athletes⠀
right Office/indoor based job workers⠀

Take home messages:⠀
If you’re susceptible to vitamin D deficiency, get tested and supplement over winter months. 4,000IU is the recommended upper limit vitamin D3 dosage for athletes and should be batch tested (Informed-Sport certified). 

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