Vitamin D

Vitamin D is also known as 'the sunshine vitamin' and supports the maintenance of bones and teeth, as well as the proper functioning of the immune system. It also contributes to normal blood calcium levels and the maintenance of normal muscle function.

Making sure your levels are topped up with a vitamin D supplement is especially important during the darker autumn and winter months. The NHS recommends everyone in the UK takes a daily vitamin D supplement during this time (Source: The NHS).

Our vitamin D supplements range includes something for everyone; including wholefood vegan vitamin D3, vitamin D3 drops, perfect for children and the elderly, our high potency Vitamin D3 & K2 capsules, and more. Shop the full range below.

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What is vitamin D3?

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), is a fat-soluble vitamin, made by the action of UVB sunlight on the skin. In the UK, Caucasian adults need around 13 minutes of midday sunlight exposure in summer to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D. People with darker skin have more melanin to protect their skin from sun damage, and as such, would need to spend anywhere between 30 minutes to 3 hours in the sun to produce sufficient D3. 

Why do I need to take a vitamin D3 supplement?

In the UK, sufficient UVB for vitamin D synthesis only occurs on sunny days, from around 10.00 to 15.00, April to September. Over the winter months vitamin D levels typically fall by around 50%!

Some food sources, such as oily fish, liver, eggs, and mushrooms provide a very modest amount of vitamin D, but taking a vitamin D supplement, particularly throughout the winter months can be an effective way to prevent deficiency. 

In the UK, vitamin D deficiency is extremely common, and you are at higher risk of deficiency, if you fall into one of the following groups: 

  • Those over the age of 65
  • Infants and children aged 5 and below
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers
  • Those with darker skin
  • Obese and overweight people
  • Those who are housebound or work night shifts
  • People who cover most of their skin when outside

Vitamin D is considered to be deficient if levels are below 29nmol/l. However, optimum levels are suggested to be greater than 125nmol/L. 

  • Optimal - 125-199 nmol/L
  • Sufficient - 75-124 nmol/L
  • Low - 30-74 nmol/L
  • Deficient - less than 29 nmol/L

If you are unaware of your Vitamin D levels or fall into one of the "at risk" categories, then it may be beneficial to get your vitamin D levels tested so you can ensure that, where needed, you take the appropriate dosage of vitamin D tablets to achieve optimal levels and better health outcomes. 

Benefits of vitamin D

Historically seen as a vitamin to support bone health, vitamin D's essential role in supporting immunity is also now becoming well known, but it in fact has a far-reaching impact upon all of the following areas of health: 

  • Bone health - vitamin D plays an essential role in supporting healthy bone density and deficiency is related to an increased risk of osteoporosis and osteomalacia as well as specifically leading to rickets, particularly in children.
  • Immune health - vitamin D has the ability to directly modulate our immunity. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection.
  • Hormonal health - as a hormone, vitamin D also can elicit significant influence over other areas of the endocrine system. Adequate vitamin D levels can support both male and female fertility.
  • Cardiovascular health - low vitamin D levels have been associated with an increased risk of conditions such as cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
  • Mood - vitamin D can have a positive effect on both mood and sleep.
  • Skin - vitamin can play an important role in skin tone, as well as providing anti-inflammatory benefits in conditions such as acne and eczema.
  • Women's health - vitamin D can support healthy bone density following the menopause and can help regulate menstrual disorders such as premenstrual syndrome.
  • Men's health - vitamin D can support muscle growth and development and plays an important role in male fertility.

What is the recommended vitamin D daily dose?

All our vitamin D supplements provide vitamin D as D3, or cholecalciferol, which appears to be more effective at increasing our vitamin D levels than D2. 

The current UK NRV is currently 5μg (200iu) per day, but emerging evidence shows that we need more than this for optimal health. The Department of Health recommends that adults and children over the age of 1 should have 10μg (400iu) a day, and breastfed babies should be given a daily supplement of vitamin D (8.5-10mcg). We offer vitamin D3 drops for babies that are suitable from birth. 

Our selection of vitamin D supplements include a vegan wholefood vitamin D3 tablet, vitamin D3 drops, suitable from birth but great for all the family, and vitamin D3 and K2 capsules, at either a high potency or daily dosage.

What is the different between D2 and D3?

Vitamin D2 and D3 are not equal when it comes to raising your vitamin D status. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) can raise blood levels of vitamin D more effectively than vitamin D2 - some studies have demonstrated D3 as nearly twice as effective - and it is therefore the preferred form for supplementation. It is also worth noting that while D3 is the form of vitamin D made by the skin upon exposure to sunlight, as D2 is cheaper to produce, it is often the form used in fortified foods.

What are the benefits of taking Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is essential for bone health and immune system function, as well as supporting nearly every area of health. The body makes vitamin D3 from exposure to sunlight, but as low levels are commonly seen in the UK, and it is difficult to get sufficient vitamin D from food alone, many people could benefit from taking a bioeffective vitamin D supplement to raise their vitamin D levels. Optimum vitamin D levels have been shown to reduce inflammation, which is at the heart of many chronic diseases, improve mental and emotional health, support all aspects of immunity, support hormonal balance, cognitive health, skin health and gut health - to name but a few!

How much vitamin d3 should I take daily?

Those that are at a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency include the elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, those with dark skin, overweight and obese people and those who have minimal sunlight exposure, for example those who work nightshifts or cover their skin when outside - and these people could particularly benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement. The UK NRV is currently set at 200iu per day, but emerging evidence suggests that we need much more than this for optimal health. Our wholefood vegan D3 supplement provides a daily dose of 2500iu of D3, and we consider this dose to be safe for most people to take year-round, or our d3 supplement for kids provides 1000iu, which is suitable from the age of 4. Our high strength D3 & K2 supplement provides 4000iu of D3, which we recommend for short to medium term use to boost levels. If you are taking more than 5000iu of D3 in all your supplements combined, for more than 3 months, especially over spring/summer, we recommend that you regularly check your levels via a blood test.

Should I take vitamin K2 with vitamin D?

Vitamin D can regulate calcium absorption, whereas vitamin K2 promotes calcium's deposition into the bones and teeth as opposed to soft tissues such as the arteries, where it can build up and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. As such, we recommend that if you are taking a high strength D3 supplement, that you also take vitamin K2. Cytoplan supplements provide vitamin K2 as MK-7, the most bioeffective form of the vitamin. Please note that those taking blood thinning medication may need to exercise caution when taking vitamin K2, and we would recommend that you speak to one of our nutritional therapist team to decipher the correct dose for you.
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