Talking Points

Talking Points

Vitamin D supplements

November 12, 2014 at 9:32 pm

One of the major supermarkets has offered to give a free 30-day supply of vitamin D until the end of the year.

So what is the truth about vitamin D and should we all be taking these supplements?

Vitamin D occurs naturally and is contained in certain foods such as oily fish. It is also contained in some vegetables including mushrooms. It has been added as a supplement to some foods but can be taken separately as a supplement.

Vitamin D has many functions including bone growth and remodelling, regulation of the endocrine system, immune, cardiovascular and inflammatory systems to mention a few. Lack of vitamin D therefore can have significant effects on health, in particular overall mortality, cancer mortality and cancer survival.

It is therefore important to be sure that our vitamin D levels are adequate. Vitamin D deficiency becomes more common with older age and it is unlikely that most of us receive sufficient in our diet. It is therefore recommended that we take vitamin D supplements and it is certainly the safest way of boosting our vitamin D levels.

There is no definite agreement about the dose that should be taken. It has been suggested that 600 IU/day for children over 1 year and adults up to the age of 70 and 800 IU/day over 70 should be enough to provide sufficiently high levels.

It is therefore helpful that one of our supermarkets is highlighting this important issue.


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