I hope you’ve been making the most of the sunshine in the last week or so. Not just to relax and destress but to build up the vitamin D levels in your blood. Vitamin D has a long history of reducing the effects of and preventing influenza viruses and it is now considered a strong player to support our immune systems and reduce the risk of serious COVID infection.
Vitamin D is commonly deficient in the UK in particular during the winter months which we have only just moved on from. Anyone who doesn’t get much sun exposure, has darker skin, smokes, is over 50, has diabetes, hypertension, asthma and other breathing conditions is more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D supports the immune system in a number of ways when it comes to viruses and its activity inside the body spares the use of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) which has the primary role of ensuring the body has enough oxygen and nitric oxide during a case of COVID. If you missed my article on the importance of ascorbic acid please read about it here.
If you are not getting 20 minutes (less if you burn easily!) of sun each day on your larger body parts, it’s a good idea to supplement with vitamin D or get your levels tested to ensure your levels are sufficient. Vitamin D should always be supplemented with vitamin K to ensure any calcium in the body goes to the bone and not the soft tissue (important!) supplement here. We also need 400mg of magnesium per day to activate the vitamin D to work.
The ideal blood level of vitamin D we are aiming for is 120-150 nmol/l. A home finger prick test can tell us our levels, see link here. This calculator here allows you to calculate how much you need for your weight based on your current levels (you need to change nmol/l to ng/ml by dividing the nmol/l reading by 2.5).
Please note if you are taking medications you must check with your doctor / NT for potential interactions before taking any supplement – this is your responsibility. This information does not replace any personalized advice or recommendations you may have received from your doctor. Please do not stop taking any of your prescribed medications unless advised by your doctor.