Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and it is also know as the 'sunshine' vitamin as the human body can manufacture it when exposed to sunlight. Well known for its role in regulating calcium levels, Vitamin D has other benefits to the body. These include regeneration of the immune system, brain function, cellular health, cardiovascular health, joints and muscle function and an anti-inflammatory action.
The British National Health Service (NHS) advice is to consider taking vitamin D supplements because it is difficult to get it from food alone. Children over the age of one should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 mcg of vitamin D, particularly during autumn and winter. People who have a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency are being advised to take a supplement all year round. At-risk groups include people whose skin has little or no exposure to the sun, like those in care homes, or people who cover their skin when they are outside. People with dark skin, from African, African-Caribbean and South Asian backgrounds, may also not get enough vitamin D from sunlight in the summer. They should consider taking a supplement all year round as well. The most absorbable form of vitamin D is D3.
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