Public Health Agencies in the United Kingdom are recommending everyone to take vitamin D supplements daily during the coronavirus lockdown – Get your halal vitamin D today.
On April 30th, the Public Health Agency of Northern Ireland recommended that everyone take vitamin D supplements during the lockdown period to help keep bones, teeth, and muscles healthy.
A week earlier, Public Health England recommended all people to consider taking daily vitamin D supplements throughout the spring and summer as the coronavirus lockdown continues. The agency said that vitamin D, along with others, can help our body stay fit to ward off illness and infections, which is very important during a pandemic.
Vitamin D: The "Sunshine Vitamin"
Vitamin D, also known as the "sunshine vitamin" since the body makes it after exposure to the sun, is an essential vitamin for the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Ten to fifteen minutes of sun exposure to the face, hands, arms, and legs three times a week is enough to produce the body's requirement of vitamin D for most people at most latitudes. However, this may vary by age, skin type, season, time of day, etc. It is worth noting that Just six days of casual sunlight exposure without sunscreen can make up for 49 days of no sunlight exposure. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and is stored in body fat when we are exposed to sunlight. Then it can be released when there is no exposure.
Vitamin D deficiency is more common than what most people think. People who do not get enough sun exposure, especially in Canada and the northern half of the United States, are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency. According to a 2013 report by Statistics Canada, one-third of Canadians aged 3 to 79 years have insufficient vitamin D levels. One in 10 are considered vitamin D deficient. The opposite may also be true. People who live in hot and sunny areas may also have vitamin D deficiency because they try to avoid sun exposure as much as possible. People who cover most of their bodies with cloths or wear sunscreen to protect themselves from skin cancer can also be at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Other groups at risk are older adults and people with darker skin.
Vitamin D is required for the proper absorption of calcium, which is essential for normal development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. It also helps maintain adequate blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D deficiency can cause poor absorption of calcium, which can cause bone and teeth diseases. Rickets, a condition where bone tissue doesn't mineralize properly, can be caused by vitamin D deficiency, especially in children. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include bone pain and muscle weakness. Even without these symptoms, vitamin D deficiency is a serious problem. It can lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in older adults, severe asthma in children as well as cancer.
People who don't get enough sun exposure should consume foods that contain vitamin D such as fish, meat, cheese, and eggs. They can also consume foods fortified with vitamin D such as dairy products, orange juice, and cereals. Some people may still not able to meet their daily requirements from food alone and may need to take vitamin D supplements. Health Canada's daily recommended intakes (RDAs) for vitamin D, updated in 2011, are 400 international units (IU) for infants, 600 IU for children aged one to adults aged 70, and 800 IU for adults over 70. Health Canada's safe upper limit is 4,000 IU per day. Osteoporosis Canada advises healthy adults aged 19-50 to consume 400-1,000 IU daily, and those over 50, or younger adults at high risk, to get 800-2,000 IU daily. The organization advises year-round vitamin D supplementation for all Canadian adults.
Due to the coronavirus lockdown, most people are not going outside to get their daily dose of vitamin D from natural sun exposure. It becomes crucially important then to supplement with vitamin D in order to protect yourself and your family.
Are You Using Halal Vitamin D Supplements?
Vitamin D supplements are available as liquid drops or solid dosage forms. Liquid drops are mostly formulated for children, but formulations containing higher concentrations of vitamin D are also available for adults. Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, it doesn't dissolve in water. So pharmaceutical manufacturers use ethanol alcohol to dissolve vitamin D to make liquid preparations. Some brands may contain up to 95% ethanol. Since ethanol is a prohibited "haram" ingredient, Muslims should avoid liquid preparations that contain alcohol in them.
Vitamin D also comes in solid dosage forms. The most common one is capsules, but tablets are sometimes available as well. Capsules are usually made from gelatin, which is often derived from a porcine "pig" source unless otherwise indicated. So unless it states "halal," "kosher," "vegetarian," "vegan," or "fish," gelatin is most likely derived partially or entirely from pigs and should be avoided. Tablets don't usually contain gelatin in them and are generally safe to consume.
The best way to make sure that your vitamin D supplement is halal is by using halal-certified products. These are products that are certified halal by a reputable authority to ensure that every single ingredient is halal and that the manufacturing process meets very stringent conditions. Certificates are typically renewed on an annual basis to ensure that manufacturers continue to adhere to the rigorous requirements set forth by the halal certifying authority.
Empowering You to Embrace Halal Living as a Complete Way of Life
Our mission is to empower you to embrace halal living as a complete way of life while striking a balance between nourishing your body and purifying your soul. During this ongoing pandemic, using halal-certified vitamin D supplements can help protect you and your family while adhering to the beautiful teachings of our faith.