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Vitamin D 101

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that exists in two main forms D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol).

Research shows that a large percentage of the population is deficient in Vitamin D. This may be because there is only a very small amount of Vitamin D obtained through the diet, even fortified foods do not contain sufficient amounts of vitamin D. Although we are able to synthesize vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight due to indoor jobs, training indoors, consciously avoiding the sun, wearing clothing and/or sunscreen or geographically living at far northern or southern latitudes we aren’t getting enough sun exposure required for the body to synthesize vitamin D. For these reasons supplementing vitamin D3, the more biologically active form, is often advised to avoid deficiency – particularly during the winter months and for those individuals whom live in far northern latitudes.

 

What are the benefits to supplementing Vitamin D3?

There are many health benefits to supplementing Vitamin D3 including optimising energy levels, maintaining bone health via supporting calcium absorption, optimising muscle function and remodelling, minimizing infection risk through improving immune function and even supporting fat loss efforts.

 

How much to supplement?

The amount you require depends on a number of factors.

Firstly, it depends on your starting point – it is always best to get your Vitamin D levels tested with your GP so you can supplement the appropriate amount. The current recommendations for Vitamin D intake is often found in research to be insufficient and benefits of supplementation are seen in doses of 2000-5000IU (50mcg – 125mcg) per day. If you are deficient, you can take a corrective bolus dose of up to 300,000IU.

Secondly, your dosage depends on how much sun you are exposed too. 10-30 minutes of sun exposure during Spring and Summer (early April till the end of September) with your arms and lower legs exposed and no sunscreen can be enough to prevent you from being deficient. The amount of Vitamin D you synthesize can be affected by your skin pigmentation, therefore if you have darker skin you may need to spend more time in the sun to obtain sufficient Vitamin D levels. Depending on the amount of sun you are exposed to and your skin pigmentation you may need to supplement in winter months or even all year round.

PhD’s Vitamin D3 capsules are the perfect addition to your daily routine. Take one capsule daily with a meal or fats for optimal absorption.

Holly Archer

Holly is a Health & Performance Nutritionist at PhD