The human body can produce vitamin D after your skin is exposed to sunlight, but most of us aren’t getting enough daylight at the moment as a result of the coronavirus restrictions. This means the majority of Brits are vitamin D deficient at present. Vitamin D isn’t just essential for the functioning of vital parts of your body, such as the immune system and cell cycle; it could play a role in protection against coronavirus. A new study has found that people taking certain vitamins, such as vitamin D, were less likely to test positive for the virus which causes coronavirus. So how much Vitamin D do I need a day, and what does it actually do? Express.co.uk chatted to the experts at Supplement Place and Vitl to find out.
Vitamin D isn’t easy to get through food – you need to get it through sunlight or supplements.
Often referred to as ‘the sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D is essential to keep bones, muscles, teeth healthy.
It also helps to 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 a day?
The UK government recommends taking 10 micrograms (400IU) of vitamin D every day, but scientific researchers and doctors have called on MPs to raise this to 4000IU daily to boost the immune system.
The experts at Supplement Place explained that vitamin D is much easier to take in supplement form than consumed in food.
They said: “Whilst vitamin D can be consumed by eating oily 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 a 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 400IU, the actual amount your body needs is more personal.
A vitamin D calculator created by Vitl tells you exactly how much vitamin D you need daily, based on your weight, time spent in direct sunlight and how long your skin is exposed to direct sunlight.
It also shows how much vitamin D-rich foods you’d need to eat to equal the personal intake recommendation.
For example, a 10 stone individual, who spends less than 15 minutes in strong direct sunlight on their hands only, needs approximately 3780IU (94.5ug) of vitamin D a 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.