Why more than anyone, Irish people need to take a vitamin D supplement
- Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body
- LloydsPharmacy can offer advice on which supplement is right for you, from a range of options
- Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, people are not getting enough sunlight
The Covid-19 pandemic has been going on for more than a year now, and there have been many unfortunate side effects.
One that may surprise you is that a lot of the Irish public are suffering a lack of vitamin D, as the rules and restrictions around the pandemic has forced us to stay indoors a lot more than we would usually.
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin. However, what with all of us staying home and the general poor weather in Ireland, we maybe now need to think about taking a supplement to ensure we’re getting enough of this crucial vitamin.
The key role vitamin D plays is to help regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults.
How much vitamin D does a person need?
Babies up to the age of 1 year need 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day. Children from the age of 1 year and adults need 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day. This includes pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
From about late March/early April to the end of September, the majority of people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight on their skin. However, some people who do not get enough naturally should consider taking a supplement.
What causes a vitamin D deficiency?
Some people will not get enough vitamin D from sunlight because they have very little or no sunshine exposure. The Department of Health and Social Care recommends that you take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year if you:
- Are not often outdoors – for example, if you’re frail or housebound.
- Are in an institution like a care home.
- Usually wear clothes that cover up most of your skin when outdoors.
What foods are a good source of vitamin D?
Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods.
- Oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel.
- Red meat.
- Egg yolks.
- Fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals.
Should I take a vitamin D supplement?
The Department of Health and Social Care recommends that for babies and young children:
• Breastfed babies from birth to 1 year of age should be given a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D to make sure they get enough
• Formula-fed babies should not be given a vitamin D supplement until they’re having less than 500ml (about a pint) of infant formula a day, as infant formula is fortified with vitamin D.
• Children aged 1 to 4 years old should be given a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.
Adults and children:
During the autumn and winter, you need to get vitamin D from your diet because the sun is not strong enough for the body to make vitamin D. But since it’s difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone, everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter.
Which vitamin D supplement is right for you?
You can buy vitamin D supplements or vitamin drops containing vitamin D at your local LloydsPharmacy.
Mylan Vitamin D 2000IU contributes to normal bones, normal function of the immune system and maintenance of normal muscle function.
Eskimo Advanced EPA With Vitamin D3 combines premium omega-3 fish oil (to support heart, brain, vision, and joint health), with vitamin D3 (which is critical for maintaining bone, teeth, muscle, and immune health).
BetterYou DLux3000 Vitamin D Oral Spray 15ml is an optimum strength daily oral vitamin D spray. Specially formulated to deliver vitamin D directly into the bloodstream bypassing the digestive system.
Solgar Vitamin D3 2200 IU Vegetable Capsules Solgar Vitamin D3 is a premium formula delivering vitamin D in the form that is easiest to use by the body. Supporting optimal wellbeing, the benefits of the sunshine vitamin are numerous and well documented, but particularly for immune and bone health.
LloydsPharmacy stores are open nationwide for your essential needs. Their highly trained colleagues can offer expert advice and support to help you get the best treatments for your pregnancy symptoms, and they offer free delivery nationwide on all orders over €40.
LloydsPharmacy has an amazing Buy One Get One Half Price offer on Vitamins & Supplements which is running until April 28 so make sure you click here to stock up, or to find your nearest store, check the store locator here.