What is iron?
Iron is an essential mineral that can be found in both plant and animal sources. The plant source of iron has a different name, it’s referred to as ‘non-haem’ iron, while ‘haem iron’ comes from animal sources. What’s the difference? Aside from their origins, haem iron is considered to be better absorbed by the body. However, non-haem sources of iron are able to better regulate the absorption of iron - meaning the body only takes what is needed. Since iron at high levels can cause toxicity, this is a key difference.1,2
Why is iron so important?
The main job of iron in the human body is to carry oxygen around the body - it does this by using a protein in the red blood cells called haemoglobin. Haemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues throughout the body, allowing the cells to produce energy.3
Iron deficiency impacts the formation of red blood cells and their ability to transport oxygen around the body, resulting in tiredness and fatigue.3
Eimele’s source of iron is a synthesised iron (II) glycinate. This form of iron is attached to an amino acid called glycine. Glycine helps to protect the iron from oxidative damage while also ensuring the iron is well absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.4
Iron requirements can vary depending on a range of factors, including life stage, health conditions and diet. The recommended daily intake (RDI) serves as a general guideline. From adolescence through to menopause, women have higher iron requirements, including during pregnancy.
Men 19-70+ years 8mg/day
Women 19-51 years 18mg/day
Women 51-70+ years 8mg/day
Why do you need to supplement iron?
If your current diet is low in iron, it may be necessary to use a supplement to ensure you meet the RDI. Although there is an abundance of plant sources of iron, it can be difficult to fix pre-existing low iron with diet alone. Certain factors, including caffeine consumption, gastrointestinal disorders and the presence of phytates in plant sources of iron can all lead to poor iron absorption.
Interesting facts about iron
- Iron absorption can be enhanced by including a source of vitamin C at the same time. You might like to include a squeeze of lemon in water to help boost your iron.
- Separate your iron-rich foods and iron supplements from your caffeine consumption - coffee and black tea reduce the absorption of vital nutrients, including iron, calcium and zinc.6
- Hayat, I., Ahmad, A., Masud, T., Ahmed, A. & Bashir, S. (2014). Nutritional and health perspectives of beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.): An overview. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 54(5): 580-92.
- Cooper, J.S., Phuyal, P. & Shah, N. (2020). Oxygen toxicity. Updated November 2020 in StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing, Treasure Island.
- Marengo-Rowe, A.J. (2006). Structure-function relations of human hemoglobins. Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent), 19(3):239-245.
- INCHEM. Ferrous glycinate (processed with citric acid). Accessed July 2022 from https://inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v52je20.htm#abs
- National Health and Medical Research Council. Iron. Updated April 2014, accessed July 2022 from https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/iron
- Sung, E.S., Choi, C.K., Kim, N.R., Kim, S.A., Shin, M.H. (2018). Association of coffee and tea with ferritin: data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (IV and V). Chonnam Med J, 54(3):178-183.
What is iodine?
Iodine is an essential trace mineral, which means the body only needs a small amount of it. As an essential mineral, it is vital to human health, particularly due to its role in thyroid health where it is needed to maintain healthy thyroid hormone production.1
Iodine is easily absorbed in the body via the stomach and small intestine. The body does not make iodine, so it needs to be replaced through the diet regularly.1
Why is iodine so important?
The thyroid gland is an endocrine (hormonal) gland that makes and releases the thyroid hormone thyroxine, along with other important hormones, as instructions to the cells and tissues of the body. With iodine being a major component of thyroxine, low iodine levels can cause a drop in thyroxine production.2
Eimele’s source of iodine comes from Japanese kelp (Laminaria japonica). Kelp is one of the richest sources of dietary iodine.
Men 19-70+ years 150micrograms/day
Women 19-70+ years 150micrograms/day
An upper level of intake has been set for iodine as an excess can cause critical adverse side effects. In adults, the upper level of intake is 1,100micrograms/day.1
Why do you need to supplement iodine?
In order for the foods we eat to have enough iodine, there needs to be adequate iodine levels in the soil. Unfortunately, many countries have large areas of low-iodine soil and battle against widespread iodine deficiency as a result. Iodine deficiency is most common in inland areas, mountainous regions, some coastal areas, as well as areas that are prone to frequent floods.3
Interesting facts about iodine
- Iodine deficiency is so prevalent throughout the world that since 2020, 124 countries (88% of the globe) have mandated salt iodisation (enriching salt with iodine) to correct deficiencies.4
- Certain foods called ‘goitrogens’ can block the uptake of iodine to the thyroid gland, so it’s important to be mindful of over-consumption of goitrogenic foods - these include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts.5
- National Health and Medical Research Council. Iodine. Updated April 2014, accessed July 2022 from https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/iodine
- Linus Pauling Institute. Iodine. Reviewed August 2015, accessed July 2022 from https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/iodine
- Eastman, C.J., Zimmermann, M.B. The iodine deficiency disorders. Endotext. Updated February 2018 in: Feingold, K.R., Anawalt, B., Boyce, A. et al., editors. South Dartmouth, MA. MDText.com.
- Zimmermann, M.B. & Andersson, M. (2021). Global endocrinology: global perspectives in endocrinology: coverage of iodized salt programs and iodine status in 2020. European Journal of Endocrinology, 185(1):R13-R21.
- Hess, S.Y. & Pearce, E.N. (2021). Iodine: physiology, dietary sources, and requirements. Reference module in Food Science.
What is B12?
B12 is an essential nutrient, which means that your body can’t manufacture its own. It also belongs to the category of vitamins known as ‘water-soluble vitamins’ - water is required for the breakdown of this type of vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins are also not stored in the body tissue. This is part of the reason why it can be so easy to develop a deficiency - B12 needs to be consumed regularly in the diet or supplementation to keep levels optimal.
Why is B12 so important?
The main function of this B vitamin is to help with the formation of red blood cells, but it is also vital to energy production inside the body’s cells.1
The nervous system also needs B12 as it is essential for maintaining all aspects of a healthy central nervous system, including the brain, peripheral nerves and the spinal cord.2
Vitamin B12 supplements can come from a range of different sources. We’ve chosen to use cyanocobalamin which has been produced by the process of fermentation.
Cyanocobalamin is a variation of B12 that is absorbed 44% better than one of the other common types of B12 called methylcobalamin, or activated B12.
Why do you need to supplement B12?
Vitamin B12 is only found in animal foods, which is why it can be challenging to maintain optimal levels on a plant-based diet. However, those on a plant-based diet are not the only ones who need to supplement B12. In fact, a large study of 3,000 American adults found that 39% were B12 deficient.3,4
Let’s talk about the optimal dosage for B12 - which is not the same as the recommended daily intake (RDI). Vitamin B12 from all sources is not particularly well absorbed - and the higher the levels consumed, the less absorption there is.5
This is why we ‘aim high’ with dosage to ensure that the actual amount being absorbed is optimised. For example, a daily dose of cyanocobalamin at between 50-250mcg or even a weekly dose of 2000-2500mcg means that the absorption rate drops, however you will still be absorbing a higher amount of around 1.3%.
Compare those numbers with the current RDI for vitamin B12 below and you’ll see that it’s not possible to get your B12 to optimal levels at those dosages:
RDI for B126
Adults 19-70 2.4mcg/day
70+ years 2.4mcg/day
Pregnancy 16-50 years 2.6mcg/day
Lactation 19-50 years 2.8mcg/day
Interesting facts about vitamin B12
- B12 is made from microbes that cover animals and the earth, rather than being produced from the animal itself. In the days before sanitisation, B12 would have been abundant!7
- As we age, our ability to absorb and break down B12 from the diet declines. This is due to physical changes in the digestive tract, as well as a reduction in hydrochloric (stomach) acid required to break nutrients down.8
- Karipiperi, K., Gousis, C. & Papaioannidou, P. (2010). The role of vitamin B12 in DNA modulation and mechanisms. Front. Pharmacol. Conference Abstract: 8th Southeast European Congress on Xenobiotic Metabolism and Toxicity - XEMET. DOI: 10.3389/conf.fphar.2010.60.00140.
- Serin, M.H. & Arslan, E.A. (2019). Neurological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency: analysis of pediatric patients*. Acta Clin Croat., 58(2):295-302.
- Schupbach, R., Wegmuller, R., Berguerand, C., Bui, M. & Herter-Aerberli, I. (2017). Micronutrient status and intake in omnivores, vegetarians and vegans in Switzerland. European Journal of Nutrition, 56(1):283-93.
- Tucker, K.L., Rich, S., Rosenberg, I., Jacques, P., Dallal, G., et al. (2000). Plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations relate to intake source in the Framingham Offspring study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 71(2):514-22.
- Carmel, R. How I treat cobalamin (vitamin B12) deficiency. Blood 2008, 112(6):2214-21.
- National Health and Medical Research Council. Vitamin B12. Updated January 2018, accessed July 2022 from https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/vitamin-b12
- Nutrition Facts. Vitamin B12. Accessed July 2022 from https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/vitamin-b12/
- Stover, P.J. (2010). Vitamin B12 and older adults. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care,13(1):24-27.
What is zinc?
Zinc is a vital trace mineral required for a wide range of actions throughout the body. It is found primarily in animal sources, but can also be found in legumes, nuts, seeds and wholegrains1.
Zinc accumulates in body tissues over time, with the main storage sites being skeletal muscle, bones, the liver and skin. As an essential mineral, zinc needs to be replaced regularly through the diet and zinc losses occur every day regardless of health status.2
Why is zinc so important?
Zinc plays a major role in activating a variety of enzymes in the body. Enzymes are proteins that create chemical reactions, so without zinc many of these vital processes can’t take place.1
In order to maintain healthy skin and support wound healing, zinc intake needs to be optimal. In fact, skin contains nearly 6% of the body’s total zinc stores.3 Hair, skin and nails are all comprised of a protein called keratin that relies on zinc for healthy production.4
A healthy immune system requires zinc to perform important tasks such as keeping infections at bay.5
Zinc is vital to energy metabolism, which is the process of how the body produces energy from the foods we eat.6
Eimele’s source of zinc comes from synthesised zinc glycinate. Zinc glycinate is a combination of the mineral zinc and the amino acid glycine. Glycine helps to enhance the absorption of zinc in the digestive tract. Zinc glycinate has been shown to have a greater bioavailability compared to inorganic zinc compounds such as zinc sulphate.7
Zinc requirements can vary depending on a range of factors, including lifestage, health conditions and diet. The recommended daily intake (RDI) serves as a general guideline.
Men 19-70+ years 14mg/day
Women 19-70+ years 8mg/day
If you follow a vegan diet, the zinc recommendations are slightly higher to take into account the lower bioavailability of plant sources of zinc.
RDI for vegans
Men 19-70+ years 21mg/day
Women 19-70+ years 12mg/day
Excessive zinc intake can lead to toxicity, so an upper level of intake has been set out at 40mg/day.8
Why do you need to supplement zinc?
As one of the most prevalent deficiencies worldwide, around 17.3% of people are not getting enough zinc in their diet.9
Many people are at risk of inadequate zinc status for a variety of reasons. A wholefood, plant-based diet is likely to have a lower overall zinc intake - while there is zinc in plant foods, the bioavailability is less than in animal sources. This is due to the presence of phytates in plant foods - sometimes referred to as ‘anti-nutrients’, phytates can block the absorption of zinc by the body.1,8
Certain health conditions, such as gastrointestinal disorders, can also impact the absorption of zinc.1,8
Interesting facts about zinc
- The Ancient Greeks had some idea of the power of zinc to heal the skin - it was used as an ointment on wounds and to help protect new skin.1
- Zinc is the second most abundant metal in the body and is required for nearly 100 important enzyme-based reactions.1,10
- Harvard School of Public Health. Zinc. Accessed July 2022 from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/zinc/
- Maares, M. & Haase, H. (2020). A guide to human zinc absorption: general overview and recent advances of in vitro intestinal models. Nutrients, 12(3):762.
- Gupta, M., Mahajan, V.K., Mehta, K.S. & Chauhan, P.S. (2014). Zinc therapy in dermatology: a review. Dermatol Res Pract, 2014:709152.
- Betsy, A., Binitha, M.P. & Sarita, S. (2013). Zinc deficiency is associated with hypothyroidism: an overlooked cause of severe alopecia. Int J Trichology, 5(1):40-42.
- Prasad, A.S. (2008). Zinc in human health: effect of zinc on immune cells. Mol Med, 14(5-6):353-357.
- Yang, X., Wang, H., Huang, C., He, X., Xu, W., et al. (2017). Zinc enhances the cellular energy supply to improve cell motility and restore impaired energetic metabolism in a toxic environment induced by OTA. Nature, 7:14669.
- Liu, F., Azad, A.K., Li, Z., Li, J., Mo, K., et al. (2021). Zinc supplementation forms influenced by zinc absorption and accumulation in piglets. Animals (Basel), 11(1):36.
- National Health and Medical Research Council. Updated April 2014, accessed July 2022 from https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/zinc
- Wessells, K.R. & Brown, K.H. (2012). Estimating the global prevalence of zinc deficiency: results based on zinc availability in national food supplies and the prevalence of stunting. PLoS One, 7(11):e50568.
- Medline Plus. Zinc in diet. Reviewed November 2021, accessed July 2022 from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002416.htm
What is omega-3?
Omega-3 is a type of polyunsaturated, essential fatty acid. Being essential refers to the need for this type of fat to be regularly replaced through the diet as the body cannot make it's own.
Two essential omega-3 fatty acids are particularly important - eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, or EPA and DHA for short. The bulk of the scientific evidence behind why omega-3 fats are so beneficial to health lies with the EPA and DHA components.
Why is omega-3 so important?
Omega-3 essential fats make up the bulk of every single cell membrane. Without omega-3 fats, cells wouldn’t be able to function properly.1
The brain needs adequate amounts of omega-3 for healthy cognitive function. In fact, higher omega-3 levels are associated with better cognitive performance.2
During foetal development and into adolescence, omega-3 fats are needed in higher quantities to support the needs of the developing brain, eyes and nervous system.3,4
Omega-3 fatty acids can also be beneficial to heart health. They have been shown to lower triglyceride levels while also increasing the protective “good” cholesterol known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL).5
Our omega-3 is sourced from 100% fermented, non-GMO algae with zero impact on the marine ecosystem. Algae oil is a plant-derived source of EPA and DHA which also contains other beneficial fatty acids.
Is algae a good source of omega-3? Microalgal oil supplements have been shown to increase omega-3 levels in the blood. This source is therefore considered to be an effective replacement for standard fish oil supplements.6
There is no upper-level intake set for omega-3 fatty acids. This means that there are no known adverse effects from consuming too much omega-3.7 Aiming higher than the recommended daily intake (RDI) may be beneficial in maintaining overall health and wellbeing, as well as supporting brain and cardiovascular function.
RDI for omega-37
Men 19+ years 160mg/day
Women 19+ years 90mg/day
Why do you need to supplement omega-3?
As an essential fat, omega-3 needs to be replaced regularly through diet. Unfortunately, the modern diet is not only low in beneficial omega-3 fat, but it’s also high in
inflammation-causing omega-6 fatty acids. Therefore, the need to ensure we get plenty of omega-3 fats in our diet is even greater than ever before.8
Interesting facts about omega-3
- Omega-3 fatty acids are famously found in deep-sea cold-water fish like salmon. Interestingly though, these fish obtain their omega-3 from microalgae9 - so why not get it directly from the source?
- You might be wondering about other plant sources of omega-3 fats. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is a type of essential fatty acid found in plant foods such as chia, flaxseed and walnuts. While ALA can usually be converted in the body to EPA and DHA, a number of competing factors mean that the conversion rate is very low.10
- Harvard School of Public Health. Omega-3 fatty acids: an essential contribution. N.d., accessed July 2022 from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/omega-3-fats/
- Barnes, S., Chowdhury, S., Gatto, N.M., Fraser, G.E. & Lee, G.J. (2021). Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with blood-brain barrier integrity in a healthy aging population. Brain and Behaviour, 11(8):e2273.
- Coletta, J.M., Bell, S.J. & Roman, A.S. (2010). Omega-3 fatty acids and pregnancy. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 3(4):163-171.
- Echeverría González, F. & Valenzuela Baex, R. (2017). In time: Importance of omega 3 in children’s nutrition. Rev Paul Pediatr, 35(1):3-4.
- Chaddha, A. & Eagle, K.A. (2015). Omega-3 fatty acids and heart health. Circulation, 132(22):e350-e352.
- Lane, K.E., Wilson, M., Hellon, T.G. & Davies, I.G. (2022). Bioavailability and conversion of plant based sources of omega-3 fatty acids - a scoping review to update supplementation options for vegetarians and vegans. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 62(18):4982-4997.
- NHMRC. Fats: Total fat & fatty acids. Updated April 2014, accessed July 2022 from https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/fats-total-fat-fatty-acids
- Innes, J.K. & Calder, P.C. (2018). Omega-6 fatty acids and inflammation. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 132:41-48.
- CSIRO. Sustainable production of omega-3 oils - microalgae offer us a direct and sustainable source of omega-3 oils. Updated January 2021, accessed July 2022 from https://www.csiro.au/en/research/plants/crops/oil-crops/algae-omega3s
- Burdge, G.C. (2006). Metabolism of alpha-linolenic acid in humans. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids, 75(3):161-8.
What is selenium?
Selenium is an essential trace mineral, meaning that the body only requires a small amount to maintain healthy levels. As an essential mineral, it is vital to the human body and needs to be consumed regularly.1 Selenium is absorbed in the intestinal tract and stored mostly in the skeletal muscle.2
Why is selenium so important?
As an antioxidant, selenium helps to protect the body’s cells and tissues from free radical damage. Low antioxidant intake, including low selenium, can lead to an excessive type of free radical damage called oxidative stress. This is a process in the body in which healthy cells become damaged and unstable, potentially causing poor health outcomes.3
Selenium is essential to maintaining the healthy function of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland requires higher concentrations of selenium and is needed for the production and metabolism of thyroid hormones. As an antioxidant, selenium helps protect the thyroid from oxidative damage.4
Eimele’s source of selenium is in the form of selenomethionine - an organic selenium that is well absorbed and utilised by the human body.5
Men 19-70+ years 70micrograms/day
Women 19-70+ years 60micrograms/day
The upper level of intake for all adults is 400micrograms/day.6
Why do we need to supplement selenium?
Around 1 billion people globally are thought to be selenium deficient. Selenium can only be found in foods that have been grown in selenium-rich soil - selenium soil content can vary from region to region, but many countries lack adequate selenium levels in the soil.7
This can leave many people selenium deficient and in need of supplementation.
Interesting facts about selenium
- The thyroid gland has the highest amount of selenium per gram of tissue compared to all the other organs of the human body.4
- Selenium tends to be highest in volcanic soils.8
- Harvard. Selenium. Accessed July 2022 from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/selenium/#:~:text=It%20is%20found%20naturally%20in,the%20metabolism%20of%20thyroid%20hormones.
- Fairweather-Tait, S.J., Collings, R. & Hurst, R. (2010). Selenium bioavailability: current knowledge and future research requirements. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 91(5):1484S-1491S.
- Zakeri, N., Rezaei Kelishadi, R., Asbaghi, O., Naeini, F., Afsharfar, M., et al. (2021). Selenium supplementation and oxidative stress: a review. PharmaNutrition, 1:100263.
- Ventura, M., Melo, M. & Carrilho, F. (2017). Selenium and thyroid disease: from pathophysiology to treatment. Int J Endocrinol, 2017:1297658.
- National Institutes of Health. Selenium. Updated March 2021, accessed July 2022 from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Selenium-HealthProfessional/.
- National Health and Medical Research Council. Selenium. Updated April 2014, accessed July 2022 from https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/selenium
- Lopes, G. Avila, F.W. & Guimaraes Guilherme, L.R. (2017). Selenium behaviour in the soil environment and its implications for human health. Science Agrotech, 41(6).
- Dagnew Gebreeyessus, G. & Zewge, F. (2018). A review on environmental selenium issues. SN Applied Sciences, 1(55).
What is calcium?
Calcium is an essential mineral that is also one of the most abundant minerals in the natural world. This mineral molecule is found attached to other chemical elements, depending on where it is sourced. Calcium is absorbed in the intestine with the help of vitamin D.1
Why is calcium so important?
Just like in the natural environment where calcium is found in hard materials such as shells and coral, calcium in the human body helps to give strength and structure to body tissues, especially bones and teeth.
Calcium is also an electrolyte - electrolytes are responsible for making sure the muscles and nerves maintain a healthy function, among many other roles.2
Getting enough calcium, along with a healthy diet and exercise, has been shown to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis (bone loss) later in life.3
When it comes to how you get your calcium, bioavailability is the biggest factor. Calcium may be available as a high-dose supplement but is often attached to poor-quality compounds that prevent its absorption in the digestive tract.
Eimele’s source of calcium is the naturally occurring calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate contains the highest amount of elemental calcium, as well as a higher bioavailability than many other forms of calcium on the market.4
It’s important to take into account your individual needs (i.e. diet, health conditions or risks, medications, etc) when considering how much calcium you should be getting.4 Unfortunately, since it’s difficult to get an accurate test result for calcium deficiency, many people aren’t aware their calcium levels may be dropping.
The recommended daily intake (RDI) below is a good guideline - aim for this amount or higher through eating calcium-rich foods and including a supplement where necessary.
Men 19-70 years 1,000mg/day
Men 70+ years 1,300mg/day
Women 19-50 years 1,000mg/day
Women 51-70 years 1,300mg/day
Women 70+ years 1,300mg/day
Pregnancy & lactation 1,000mg/day
Why do you need to supplement calcium?
As an essential mineral, calcium needs to be regularly replaced through dietary sources. However, unlike some other essential minerals, the body does store calcium. Calcium stores can be pulled from the bones and used for other needs if dietary calcium intake is low. Eventually, this will lead to a clinical calcium deficiency, resulting in symptoms such as weak bones and teeth.5
Calcium can be found in a range of animal and plant sources. As a large molecule, however, calcium can be difficult to digest. A number of factors can impact calcium absorption - including health conditions involving the digestive tract, high caffeine consumption, certain medications, and low serum vitamin D levels.1,4,5
Interesting facts about calcium
- The average human body contains around 1kg of calcium - 99% of that is stored in the skeleton.6
- Calcium is abundant in plant sources, but with another hurdle to absorption - two compounds also found in plants called oxalic acid and phytic acid. These plant compounds or ‘anti-nutrients’ block the absorption of minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc.7
- Zhang, R. & Naughton, D.P. (2010). Vitamin D in health and disease: current perspectives. Nutrition Journal, 9(65).
- Shrimanker, I. & Bhattarai, S. Electrolytes. Updated July 2021 in Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022.
- National Health and Medical Research Council. Calcium. Updated April 2014, accessed July 2022 from https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/calcium
- Harvard School of Public Health. Calcium. Accessed July 2022 from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/calcium
- Medline Plus. Calcium and bones. Accessed July 2022 from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002062.htm
- Pu, F., Chen, N. & Xue, S. (2016). Calcium intake, calcium homeostasis and health. Food Science and Human Wellness, 5(1):8-16.
- Akter, S., Netzel, M., Tinggi, U., Fletcher, M., Osbourne, S., et al. (2020). Interactions between phytochemicals and minerals in Terminalia ferdinandiana and implications for mineral bioavailability. Front Nutr, 7:598219.
What is vitamin D3?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that it requires fat to be broken down and utilised. Fat-soluble vitamins can also be stored in the fat cells for later use.
Vitamin D is synthesised by the skin following sun exposure and is then converted by the liver and kidneys into ‘active vitamin D’ or calcitriol.1
There are two types of vitamin D - vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) - found in plants such as mushrooms, and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) - through sun exposure to skin, along with animal sources such as fatty fish.1
Why is vitamin D3 so important?
Vitamin D has a wide range of important functions within the human body. Most notably, vitamin D supports calcium absorption which helps to maintain healthy teeth and bones. Getting enough vitamin D alongside calcium, exercise and a healthy diet can help to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.2
When it comes to immune function, vitamin D is essential. Vitamin D supports the production of pathogen-fighting immune cells, while also reducing the risk of damage by inflammation-causing white blood cells.3
Our vitamin D3 is produced from a 100% non-GMO algae source. It is a completely plant-sourced vitamin D3 which has significantly greater bioavailability than vitamin D2.4
With a range of factors influencing individual vitamin D levels, it’s important to look to optimal levels, rather than adequate intake (AI). Consider your intake of vitamin D through food sources, as well as sun exposure through the seasons when deciding if a supplement is right for you.
Adults 19-50 years - 5 micrograms
Adults 51-70 years - 10 micrograms
Adults 70+ years - 15 micrograms
Pregnancy & lactation - 5 micrograms.
Why do you need to supplement vitamin D3?
Despite the main source of vitamin D - sunlight - being free and accessible to almost everyone, more than half of the world’s population has insufficient levels. It’s also estimated that roughly 1 billion people across the globe have a clinical vitamin D deficiency.5,6
Why is low vitamin D so prevalent? Lifestyle (i.e. more time spent indoors) and environment (air pollution) have resulted in a significant drop in sun exposure.5,6 Dietary intake of vitamin D also tends to be low across the board and can be influenced by a number of other factors - not just whether or not you eat animal products, but how much time you spend outdoors, if you wear sunscreen, even weight can have an impact on vitamin D levels.
Interesting facts about vitamin D3
- In Australia, vitamin D levels have been shown to sharply decline during the winter months. At the end of the winter, 36% of Australians were vitamin D deficient, compared to just 14% at the end of the summer.7
- Darker skin pigment makes it more difficult for the body to synthesise vitamin D via sunlight exposure.8
- As well as being a vitamin, D3 is also considered a hormone that plays many important roles in the body, including in the endocrine (hormonal) system.9
- National Health and Medical Research Council. Vitamin D. Updated April 2014, accessed July 2022 from https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/vitamin-d
- Jin, J. (2018). Vitamin D and calcium supplements for preventing fractures. JAMA, 319(15):1630.
- Cannell, J.J., Vieth, R., Umhai, J.C., Holick, M.F., Grant, W.B., et al. (2006). Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiology & Infection, 134(6):1129-40.
- Vitamin D3V®. 100% Vegan Vitamin D3. Accessed July 2022 from https://www.vitamind3v.com/
- Nair, R. & Maseeh, A. (2012). Vitamin D: The ‘sunshine’ vitamin. Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics, 3(2):118–26.
- Al-Daghri, N. M., Al-Attas, O., Yakout, S., Aljohani, N., Al-Fawaz, H. & Alokail, M. S. (2015). Dietary products consumption in relation to serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and selenium level in Saudi children and adults. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, 8(1): 1305.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Health Survey: Biomedical Results for Nutrients. Written December 2013, accessed July 2022 from https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/australian-health-survey-biomedical-results-nutrients/latest-release
- Skin Health Institute. Your skin, vitamin D and the sun. Accessed July 2022 from https://www.skinhealthinstitute.org.au/page/79/your-skin-vitamin-d-and-the-sun
- Your Hormones. Vitamin D. Reviewed February 2018, accessed July 2022 from https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/vitamin-d/
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