Sunshine Vitamin

Vitamin D is the only vitamin that can be made in our skin in with the help of sunshine, more specifically, the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. During the summer months, we get most of this vitamin through sunshine-skin collaboration. But from October through to early March, UK sunshine isn’t UVB – rich enough, so our skin isn't producing any significant amounts..

Why is getting enough important? Vitamin D helps calcium being absorbed in the gut and supports bone health. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin and brittle and in older adults can lead to osteoporosis. Other perhaps less well known benefits of vitamin D include reduction of inflammation, neuromuscular and immune function, glucose metabolism and mental wellbeing.

A report carried out by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), suggests that everyone over the age of 1 needs to consume 10 micrograms (400IU) of vitamin D each day… This advice also applies to pregnant and breastfeeding women. Adults should not take more than 100µg (4000IU) a day, unless recommended by a doctor or a Dietitian, because too much vitamin D can be harmful.

NOTE: it's a fat soluble vitamin, so best if you take your supplement with a meal.


Happy Easter

Easter means different things to people and to me it’s about celebrating spring, new life and and embracing family traditions, which revolve around painting eggs, baking cinnamon buns and spending half of the day eating Easter lunch... The egg is a symbol of fertility and of renewed life that goes back to the ancient Egyptians and Persians. It’s thought that they are the ones who started the custom of colouring and gifting eggs during their spring festival... I’ve gone off on a tangent here a little talking things not really diet related...

To get back on track, I will share a ‘fun fact’ on male fertility. Male sperm contains lots of antioxidants, including vitamins E & C, carnitine, carotenoids, zinc, selenium and folate. They protect semen from the damage of reactive oxygen damage, which could otherwise cause fertility issues by damaging sperm and changing the sperm DNA. Dietary intake of antioxidants (both from food and supplements) has been shown to be strongly associated with semen quality (aka fertilisation potential). On the contrary, alcohol and smoking (even being exposed to cigarette smoke) have negative effects on fertilisation potential because these tend to reduce sperm count and slow down its speed... Bottom line is, when it comes to fertility, diet and lifestyle choices matter! Happy Easter everyone!