Cholecalciferol is a very important Vitamin involved in many processes and aids both calcium and phosphorus absorption. Whilst some Vitamin D is consumed via food, most is made by our bodies from sunlight on our skin. Functions include;
- Keeping bones and teeth healthy and strong
- Heart and muscle function
- Blood clotting
- Supporting the immune system
Good Food Sources include oily fish (salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel), egg yolks, red meat and some fortified cereals and fat spreads.
Recommended Intake in the UK is 10 mcg. The dose is also expressed as IU (international Units) and 10 mcg is equivalent to 400 IU.
Deficiency growth problems, weak bones, constipation, muscle weakness, bone pain and deformities like osteomalacia.
- The Department of Health recommends that all breast fed babies and children under 5 should be given 10 mcg daily.
- Everyone should consider Vitamin D supplementation in autumn and winter months due to less time outside, more skin covered due to colder weather, and reduced quality of sunlight on our skin.
- The Department of Health also recommends that you should consider taking Vitamin Daily if you spend the majority of your time inside, live in an institution like a care home, cover your skin when outside or have darker skin.
- White mushrooms are a reasonably good source but you can increase the amount of Vitamin D by placing them in sunlight and they will synthesise even more Vitamin D for you to consume.
- You should avoid Vitamin D supplements if you have or have ever had high calcium levels.