The importance of vitamin D

The importance of vitamin D

A new study into the benefits or otherwise of taking vitamin supplements has thrown up some interesting facts about vitamin D.

It appears that low levels of this vitamin can increase death rates from cardiovascular disease, cancer and other causes of death significantly.

The observations from recent tests by the Health Supplements Information Service (HSIS) indicated that risk of mortality was significantly higher in studies where there was a lower baseline use of vitamin D supplements.  

Evidence from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) show that in the UK, mean total daily intakes of vitamin D from foods in adults are 2.9 µg daily, and mean intakes from supplements are 0.8 µg providing a mean total of 3.7 µg daily.  This is below the EU RDA of 5 µg.

Indeed food sources of vitamin D are very limited.

All living creatures are designed to synthesise vitamin D from sunlight. However, the northerly latitude of the UK means that it is only possible to create vitamin D from sunlight from May to September when skin on the arms, legs and face should be exposed to sunlight, without sunscreens, for half an hour three times a week.

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) has stated that recommended amounts of vitamin D are unlikely to be met without vitamin D supplementation. This latest study provides further evidence that taking a supplement containing vitamin D can be recommended for the maintenance of overall health.

However, it should also be noted that food supplements, including vitamin D supplements, are intended to supplement the diet and are not intended to treat, prevent or cure any disease, indeed; food law prohibits any food from making such a claim.

More research is needed but it indicated that by increasing the levels of vitamin D in our blood can reduce of death rates from cardiovascular disease by up to   35%, cancer from 14% and all other cause by 11%.