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The complete guide to vitamin D in summer

Vitamins and Supplements

Discover why you shouldn’t ignore the sunshine vitamin even when the sun is out

When the skies are blue, the sun is out, and the air is hot, vitamin D deficiency may seem irrelevant. Why worry about the sunshine vitamin when there is no shortage of sun? But things may not be as they seem.

What you need to know

Firstly, vitamin D has a range of benefits. For instance, it plays a role in the process of cell division and contributes to the maintenance of normal bones, teeth and muscle function; normal absorption and utilisation of calcium and phosphorus; and the normal function of the immune system.

Secondly, it is not naturally present in many foods, but can be produced endogenously. In other words, our bodies can synthesise vitamin D when ultraviolet rays make contact with our skin. In fact, basking in the sun for 30 minutes a day (without sunscreen) could fulfil our daily vitamin D needs*.

The summer conundrum

Given the above, it might surprise you that a large-scale study found that vitamin D inadequacy is prevalent among 40.4% of the European population, irrespective of age, ethnicity, and latitude.** In winter the culprits are clear: short days, indoor lifestyle. But what about summer?

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Since ultraviolet rays aren’t great for skin and can even cause it to age prematurely, experts advise us to use sunscreen and avoid the sun at its peak. However, by doing so, we dramatically reduce vitamin D synthesis in our skin. Wonder why? Check out this video , which succinctly demonstrates this challenge and offers a solution. So, what now?

Three ways to get vitamin D in summer

  1. Fatty fish: Salmon, tuna and mackerel, as well as fish liver oils, are good sources of the fat-soluble vitamin.

  2. Eggs and cheese: Small amounts of vitamin D can also be found in egg yolks, beef liver and certain cheeses.

  3. Food supplements: A great way to fill in any potential nutritional gaps is with a dedicated vitamin D food supplement. With vitamin D derived from two natural sources, including yeast cultured at a NutriCertTM certified partner facility, NUTRILITETM Vitamin D provides an easy and effective way to beat the summer conundrum.

To ensure that you get your dose of the sunshine vitamin no matter the season, reach for NUTRILITE Vitamin D!

* The amount of vitamin D produced in the skin with the help of the sun might be affected by latitude, season, ozone layer and clouds, surface characteristics, clothing, skin colour, and age. Source: EFSA NDA Panel, 2016. Scientific opinion on dietary reference values for vitamin D. EFSA Journal 2016;14(10):4547, 145 pp. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2016.4547; https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2016.4547

** Source: Cashman KD, Dowling KG, et al. Vitamin D deficiency in Europe: pandemic? Am J Clin Nutr (2016) 103(4):1033–44.10.3945/ajcn.115.120873.

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