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What is the Most Beneficial Type of Vitamin D? | Affinity Health

While you can get vitamin D from a variety of foods, Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare, says the best source remains sunlight.


Your body creates vitamin D once it has spent some time in sunshine. However, underlying health conditions also play a key role. They may block your body from absorbing enough sunshine and producing vitamin D. In this case, you may need a supplement.


“Vitamin D is referred to as the sunshine vitamin. This is because it is created by the body when the sun shines on the skin. But many people turn to supplements during the colder months,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


During winter, days are shorter. Although most South African climates still have sunshine during the colder seasons, standing outside in the cold may not be everyone’s cup of tea.”


Despite our country’s glorious sunny weather, one in five people living in South Africa are vitamin D deficient. This deficiency is concerning. Vitamin D aids the intestines in absorbing calcium. This promotes strong and healthy bones. Vitamin D also plays a role in reducing inflammation and enhancing immune function and cell growth.


Each day, adults require 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D. People above the age of 70 need 800 IU of vitamin D per day.

What is the Latest Research on Vitamin D Supplements?

Vitamin D supplements are important for maintaining bone health. The issue is that they often do not live up to the hype, according to multiple researchers.


Significant results from over 81 clinical trials made news in October 2018. The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology report shared the following findings about vitamin D supplements:

  • Vitamin D supplements do not prevent fractures or falls.
  • Vitamin D supplements do not have any clinical effect on bone mineral density.
  • Vitamin D supplements are not linked to reduced risks of cancer, heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular disease.

This was also corroborated by a controlled clinical trial involving over 25,000 participants published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Continuous studies are still taking place in this topic.

Learn More: How are Pharmaceutical Drugs Developed?

Why do Some Individuals Require Vitamin D Supplements? 

Why are certain groups more susceptible to low vitamin D levels? Typically, it can be traced back to their food or way of life. Consider vegetarians and vegans. Many people have low vitamin D levels because they avoid meals high in vitamin D, such as meat, fish, egg yolks, and fortified dairy products. One study published in February 2016 in PLOS One discovered that vegans had a 34% lower vitamin D serum content than meat and dairy eaters.


Individuals who are obese may also require a supplement. According to research, possible causes of vitamin D deficiency include the possibility that obese people expose less skin to the sun (not due to poorer vitamin D absorption alone).


Seniors are in danger not only because they spend more time indoors but also because the process of manufacturing vitamin D from diet or sunlight gets less efficient as people age.

How Do You Know How Much Vitamin D You Need?

Are you concerned that your vitamin D levels are too low? The most common signs of deficiency are fatigue and achy joints, though frequently, there are no symptoms. The only way to be sure is to consult your physician, who may order blood testing to determine your vitamin D levels.


Doctors recommend taking between 400 and 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) every day if you wish to supplement.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance. We offer a wide range of cover options at affordable rates. Medical cover includes access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance. We have designed healthcare products to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to always give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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