Vitamin D is essential for a human body to work as it should. It’s present in some foods, and plays an important part in keeping bones strong.
Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body – nutrients which are needed for healthy teeth, bones and muscles.
About vitamin D
Who can get treatment online
Adults can get treatment online, if a vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency is confirmed by a blood test.
How to place your order
- Fill out a short online assessment about your health
- Place an order for your preferred treatment
- A Zava Doctor will check your assessment to see if your order is right for you
- If your order is right for you, then it can be posted to your preferred address or you can collect it from a local post office instead
Common side effects of vitamin D supplements and treatments
We offer Cholecalciferol, in dosages of 1000 IU and 10000 IU. Side effects of Cholecalciferol can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach ache
- Needing to pee more often
- Muscles weakness
- Bone pain
Vitamin D is essential for healthy teeth, bones and muscles. If you don’t get enough vitamin D, you may develop soft, brittle bones – known as osteomalacia in adults, and rickets in children.
As well as this, Vitamin D helps our muscles to stay healthy and working well. The immune system also uses vitamin D to fight off bacteria and viruses, helping us to stay healthy.
If you are deficient in vitamin D, you might feel one or more of:
- bone pain
- wounds take longer to heal
- muscle pain
- becoming ill more often than usual
There are other risks associated with vitamin D deficiency. For example, some studies have shown that there is an increased risk of:
- some cancers
- cardiovascular disease
- rheumatoid arthritis
- multiple sclerosis
There are three categories when measuring vitamin D:
A sufficient vitamin D status is over 50 nmol/l (nanomoles per litre). This is when you have enough vitamin D for your body to be healthy.
Vitamin D insufficiency, which affects around 50% of the UK population, is defined as a concentration of between 30 and 50 nmol/l.
Vitamin D insufficiency isn’t enough to cause bone and muscle disease like vitamin D deficiency, but it can leave you susceptible to illness caused by bacteria or viruses.
If this isn’t treated, vitamin D levels can keep getting lower, ending up in the range of vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency is defined as having less than 30 nmol/l of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in your blood.
Severe vitamin D deficiency can causes bone pain and weakness. It can also mean you are more likely to suffer from infections and illness.
The most reliable way to check your vitamin D status is with a blood test.
You can do this through Zava – order a test online, and follow the simple steps to have your blood tested by our partner lab.
Or if you’d prefer, your GP will be able to carry out a blood test instead.
Our main source of vitamin D is direct sunlight. The human body can make vitamin D from sunlight that makes contact with our skin. The vitamin D produced by the skin from sunlight can last twice as long in the blood as the vitamin D acquired through our diet.
Added to this, not much vitamin D comes from the food we eat, unless we include food in our diet that has had vitamin D added to it.
You can try to make sure your vitamin D levels are high enough by:
- getting more direct contact with sunlight
- eating foods that are rich in vitamin D
- taking supplements or treatments – if your status is insufficient or deficient
Food sources of vitamin D include:
- cod liver oil
- beef liver
- egg yolks
Vitamin D is also available in a supplement and as a treatment.
If your vitamin D status is insufficient you may be given supplements of 1000 IU (international units). If you are deficient, you’ll first be offered given a starter pack, containing 10000 IU cholecalciferol, to give a quick boost to your vitamin D levels. Then you’ll take supplements containing 1000 IU.
The supplement form of vitamin D contains 1000 IU (international units). 1000 IU is equivalent to 25 micrograms.
Some groups are advised to take vitamin D supplements to ensure they are getting enough:
- babies from birth to one year old
- children between one and four years old
- people who don’t get a lot of direct sunlight. For example, people who live in care homes, or who wear clothing which covers most of their skin
10000 IU vitamin D is given to people who have been diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency, to give a quick boost to their vitamin D levels. This is usually given as a daily dose for eight to 12 weeks, and helps to get the body’s store of vitamin D back to normal.
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Holick, M. F. and Chen, T. C. (2008). Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 87(4): 1080S-1086S.
Lab Tests Online UK. (2018). Vitamin D. Lab tests online. Online] Available at: https://labtestsonline.org.uk/tests/vitamin-d [Accessed 29 October 2018].