Vitamin D in cod liver oil
You probably know that cod liver oil is a very good source of omega-3. What you might not know, however, is that a spoonful of cod liver oil also covers the required daily dose of vitamin D. People between 1 and 75 years of age are advised to have a daily intake of 10 μg (micrograms) of vitamin D, while for those over 75 the recommendation is 20 μg.
The importance of cod liver oil and vitamin D
Vitamin D is an important contributor to optimising the body’s uptake of calcium, an important building block of the skeleton. Vitamin D thus has an important role in strengthening the skeleton, throughout life. A deficiency of vitamin D over an extended period of time may lead to deficiency diseases such as osteoporosis in adults and rickets in children. Sufficient vitamin D is therefore important for both young and old.
How much vitamin D is there in Möller’s Cod Liver Oil?
A teaspoon of Möller’s Cod Liver Oil (5 ml) contains 10 μg of vitamin D and thus covers the daily required dose for the majority of the population.
According to the NHS, breastfed babies from birth to 1 year of age should be given a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D. Formula-fed babies shouldn’t be given a vitamin D supplement until they’re having less than 500ml (about a pint) of infant formula a day, as infant formula is fortified with vitamin D.
Vitamin D sources
Vitamin D is present in many of the sources of omega-3 and especially in oily fish, fish roe and fish liver. But there is an almost inexhaustive free source of vitamin D available to everyone, namely the sun. When bare skin is exposed to direct sunlight, the body initiates a process whereby it converts the originators of cholesterol in the skin into vitamin D. This makes vitamin D the only chemical substance classified as a vitamin that the body can produce itself.
Vitamin D from the sun
Depending on where you live, the time of day, the season, your skin tone, and other factors, you can get a vitamin D supply every day by being in direct sunlight. However, most of the skin cannot be exposed in order to get the desired effect. The time it takes to produce sufficient vitamin D is individual and depends on, for example, the factors mentioned above. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the days are short during winter and it is difficult to expose the body to enough direct sunlight for it to produce sufficient vitamin D.
The NHS advises certain groups of people, who may not be able to benefit from sunlight, to be particularly mindful of their vitamin D intake. These include people who
- are in an institution like a care home
- usually wear clothes that cover up most of your skin when outdoors
- aren’t often outdoors – for example, if you’re frail or housebound
If you have dark skin – for example, you have an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background – you may also not get enough vitamin D from sunlight.
Vitamin D supplements
Supplements such as Möller’s Cod Liver Oil can be the solution to meet the body’s daily requirement for vitamin D.
One 5 ml teaspoon of Möller’s Cod Liver Oil per day covers the daily requirement for both young and old, while also providing omega-3, vitamin A and E. Vitamin A is particularly important for the eyes and contributes to the body’s immune defence against infections, while some of vitamin E’s most important functions are to protect the cells from oxidative stress.