My doctor informed me recently that my vitamin D level was quite low. This surprised me as I get outdoors by gardening and walking the dog several times a week, especially in summer. However I do work inside every day which is a risk factor for having low vitamin D levels. We should have 50nmol/L of vitamin D in our blood at the end of winter (when we are inside more) and we would expect to have 60-70 nmol/L in summer. My level was only 52nmol/L in December, which was why I needed a vitamin D supplement.
Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium from our gut and keeps our bones strong. The main source of vitamin D is sunlight. We need a few minutes of sunlight on our skin most days in summer to get enough vitamin D while avoiding skin damage. In winter, we need 2-3 hours of sunlight a week on our skin to make enough vitamin D.
Low vitamin D levels (which occurs in 30% of Australians) puts us at higher risk of osteoporosis, joint and bone pain, falls and broken bones.
I went to buy a multi-vitamin supplement but realised some only a small amount of vitamin D. If you need a supplement take 600IU a day (15 ug) and if you are over 70 years then aim for 800IU (20ug) a day.
Nature's Way vita gummies= 2.5ug= 100IU
Centrum Advance= 15 ug vitamin D3= 600IU
Cenovis women's multi= 5ug= 200IU
I have one of these Swisse supplements every night with 1000 IU which should boost my vitamin D level and I will have it checked in a few months.
(1 ug of vitamin D= 40 IU).
Leanne is an experienced dietitian who is passionate about helping people eat well.