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3 ways to up your vitamin D intake as the clocks go back

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The clocks go back Sunday, October 30th, indicating that winter is well on the way and the days are continuing to get shorter. Our skin creates vitamin D on contact with UV rays from the sun, so this can become more difficult at this time of year when there are fewer daylight hours. Also during the winter months, smaller amounts of the ultra-violet rays needed to help the body synthesis vitamin D, reach the UK due to its northerly global latitude. In fact, earlier this year, Public Health England released new recommendations that all UK adults should take a 10mcg vitamin D supplement during winter months in order to protect musculoskeletal health. Here we look at the easiest ways to up your winter intake.

1. Add some sunshine to your diet

To get more vitamin D from your diet there are a few different food sources that you should consider. Oily fish, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, are rich sources of vitamin D. Mushrooms are also a decent source of vitamin D. You can also find small doses of Vitamin D in cheese and egg yolks. In particular, fish oils such as cod liver oil have a high percentage of vitamin D3.

2. Take a supplement – but pick the right one

Public Health England has stated that supplements are necessary to take during the winter months because there is very little opportunity for us to get enough vitamin D from the sunlight. There is also an argument that you cannot get enough vitamin D from your diet alone, regardless of how much oily fish you consume.

There are two types of vitamin D that are available as a supplement: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is considered the more natural version as it is the same type that your body makes when your skin is exposed to UV rays. Vitamin D2 is a synthetic version, which is not thought to be so easily used by your body. This means that blood levels of the vitamin won’t increase as much as if you take a supplement containing vitamin D2.

Healthspan's Super strength Vitamin D3 is a great way to ensure healthy vitamin levels. Each Super Strength tablet contains our experts' optimum recommendation of 25mcg (1,000iu) of vitamin D3 in its natural form.

3. Get outside as much as you can

When UV levels are high enough, it is recommended that you have between five and 30 minutes of UVB exposure to the skin on your face, arms, back or legs two times a week without sunscreen. Although this becomes harder to achieve in winter, it’s important to make the most of those crisp, sunny winter days.

The Nutrition Expert editorial team compiles articles with the help of Healthspan's experts to answer key questions from our community as well as researching common health topics and news.

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Nutrition Expert sources the latest information and advice from a range of qualified doctors, nutritionists and coaches. We always endeavour to have the most up to date information possible and publish new content weekly. However with the constant research in this field sometimes some of our older articles can become out of date. If you see anything that you believe needs to be updated please let us know via our Contact Us page