The facts about vitamin D3

Summer is here once again and we are all aware of the possible consequences of over exposure to ultra violet light and according to recent research statistics of sun related malignant melanoma (skin cancer) continue to rise (, 2014). But the flip side is that because we are all spending so much time indoors or protected from the UV rays of the sun there is growing problem with vitamin D deficiency being seem amongst the general population.

There are three ways of obtaining vitamin D; through sunshine, food supplements and food; but you can’t get enough through supplementation and diet to meet the needs of the body. The skin makes vitamin D from the UVB rays in sunlight and stores it for use. The amount produced depends on time of day, season, skin pigmentation and other factors; and use of sun block impacts the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D. For vitamin D production it is suggested that we all spend about 20 to 30 minutes per day outside.

We also need vitamin D in the required quantities so that our bodies can absorb calcium and phosphate which are essential for bone and teeth development amongst other key functions and processes.

An example: an eight ounce service of whole milk will provide approximately 25% of the daily vitamin D requirement, but 20 to 30 minutes outside in the sun will provide 90% of the daily requirement.

If we do not get enough vitamin D then there are several possible consequences, such as loss of bone density; osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children, osteoporosis in  later life, and a range of other serious conditions which include coronary heart disease because vitamin D has been shown to have protective qualities such as reducing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol levels (Siadat et al, 2012).


Siadat, Z., Kiani, K., Kheirmand, M. (2012) Association of vitamin D deficiency and coronary artery disease with cardiovascular risk factors. Journal of Researching Medical Sciences.17(11):  pp1052-1055, (2014),

Categories: Complementary Therapies, Health and Social Care