Vitamin D – just ‘D’o it

The answer to the question – who needs to take a Vitamin D supplement may surprise you.


Recent advice has included everyone in the recommendation to add a Vitamin D supplement into your life as it’s recognised that we can all benefit. Although there are groups which will want additional supplementation, it’s been realised that most people will show a deficiency at some point. 

Vitamin D is commonly known as the sunshine vitamin, as it is predominantly produced in our bodies from the action of sunlight absorbed through our skin. It is actually a hormone and not a vitamin!

What does Vitamin D do?

Vitamin D is like other vitamins and minerals – it works together to support absorption as well as having its own benefits. Without Vitamin D you can’t absorb calcium properly and will develop problems with your bones, muscles and teeth. 

Recently understanding of the importance of Vitamin D in supporting the immune system has also been growing

Studies have linked Vitamin D deficiency with increased upper respiratory tract infections (coughs and colds) and inflammatory conditions

Exploration into how this works shows that Vitamin D supports T cells, which are key to your immune system

Why do I need it?

In the days when we spent more time outside and didn’t use sunscreen we could achieve our Vitamin D needs from the sun. 

Now, we’re rightly cautious to protect ourselves from skin cancer and of course spend more time inside our offices, homes and places of work. Pollution also prevents sunlight from reaching our skin so that we can convert it to Vitamin D.

As many people have historically moved around the world, if you have a genetic heritage from a population based closer to the equator, with darker skin, and have moved north or south to less sunny climates, then you are at increased risk of your skin not absorbing sufficient Vitamin D. 

Older people are also less able to produce Vitamin D.

How can I get it?

The safest way of getting a controlled amount of Vitamin D is to take a supplement. 

Too much Vitamin D is dangerous and can harm your body. 

The UK NHS suggests that 10 micrograms supplemented a day is probably enough for most people. It cautions against more than 100 micrograms (4,000 IU), as this could be harmful. 

The best absorbed supplement is Vitamin D3.

You can get a vegan version from lichen, although most D3 supplements are of animal origin

You can read more about supplementation for vegans here:

Here’s the supplement that I use

Further sources of information about Vitamin D,condition%20called%20osteomalacia%20in%20adults.