Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps absorb calcium in our body to support healthy bones. Beyond its skeletal benefits, emerging research also suggests that vitamin D influences our immune system, cardiovascular health, mental well-being, and even our balance and strength.
While sunlight remains the most natural and abundant source of vitamin D, it can be challenging to obtain sufficient levels through sunlight alone and it’s essential we manage exposure to minimise skin cancer risk.
Vitamin D is present in some high fat foods including fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel, fortified dairy, and eggs.
At a population level, we aren’t receiving adequate vitamin D levels through sunlight or food as 23% of Australian’s present with a vitamin D deficiency.
The most reliable way to optimise our vitamin D levels is through supplementation. Regular check-ups and blood tests can determine your vitamin D levels, and supplements use can be tailored to your needs.
Vitamin D has been shown to support
- Bone Health: Aids in the absorption of calcium, promoting bone mineralisation and strength.
- Joint Health: Reduces inflammation and supports cartilage health.
- Immune Function: Helps regulate the immune system and enhancing immune response, and may reduce the risk of some autoimmune diseases.
- Balance and Strength: May help improve muscle function, balance, and strength, particularly in older adults.
- Mood Management: May help regulate mood and prevent depressive symptoms.
If you require vitamin D supplementation a common dose is 1,000IU or 25mcg of Vitamin D. There are many brands that provide this amount, including Nature’s Way, Cenovis, and Ostelin. If you are vitamin D deficient, you may need to increase the dose for a short period of time to get your body back to baseline levels. Talk to a healthcare professional about vitamin D testing and supplementation.
Written by Amber Flamank Accredited Practising Dietitian