The human body can produce vitamin D after your skin is exposed to the sun, but most of us don’t get enough daylight right now due to coronavirus restrictions. This means that the majority of Britons are currently deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D is not only essential for the functioning of vital parts of your body, such as the immune system and the cell cycle; it could play a role in protecting against the coronavirus. A new study has found that people taking certain vitamins, such as vitamin D, were less likely to test positive for the virus that causes the coronavirus. So how much vitamin D do I need per day and what does it actually do? Express.co.uk discussed with the experts at Supplement Place and Vitl to find out.
Vitamin D is not easily obtained from food – you have to get it through sunlight or supplements.
Often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy bones, muscles and teeth.
It also helps regulate the immune system and the neuromuscular system, playing a huge role in the process of cell division.
A lack of vitamin D has been linked to things like heart disease, weight gain, and even depression.
How much vitamin D do I need per day?
The UK government recommends taking 10 micrograms (400 IU) of vitamin D per day, but scientists and doctors have called on MPs to increase this level to 4,000 IU per day to boost the immune system.
The experts at Supplement Place explained that vitamin D is much easier to take in supplement form than in food.
They said, “While vitamin D can be consumed by eating fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna as well as mushrooms and eggs, the levels of vitamin D present in these foods are low.
“With around one in five people in the UK having vitamin D deficiency, it has become necessary for some to rely on vitamin D in supplement form.”
Vitamin D Calculator
While the average amount of vitamin D a person needs is 400 IU, the actual amount your body needs is more personal.
Vitamin D calculator created by Vitl tells you exactly how much vitamin D you need on a daily basis, based on your weight, time in direct sunlight, and how long your skin is exposed to direct sunlight.
It also shows how much vitamin D-rich foods you need to eat to match the personal intake recommendation.
For example, a 10 stone person, who spends less than 15 minutes in direct sunlight on their hands alone, needs about 3780 IU (94.5 ug) of vitamin D per day.
This equates to 85 hard-boiled eggs, 47 servings of pork, 39 cups of almond milk, 37 cups of orange juice, or 16 servings of canned tuna.