The A-Z Of Vitamin D : Is Your Family Getting Enough Of The Sunshine Vitamin? | AD

There has been a lot of talk in the media about Vitamin D in recent years, so you would think we know everything there is to know about the ‘sunshine vitamin’. Apparently not. Recent research has shown that 47% who don’t purchase multivitamins assume that natural sources such as sunlight can provide all the vitamin D they need. Experts say that’s almost impossible for many people living in the UK.

What is vitamin D for anyway?

Vitamin D helps the human body to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate, which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Vitamin D also supports the normal function of the immune system in children and adults.

Exposing bare skin to the UVB rays in sunlight is the most natural way to get vitamin D. However, you need to have your face and upper extremities exposed between 11am3pm from April to September in the UK in order to make Vitamin D in the body. Do you and your family do this? I know we don’t.

Yikes, my family is not getting enough Vitamin D, how do I fix this?

The good news is that conditions caused by lack of vitamin D such as bone problems, immune deficiencies, sleep problems depression and rickets, can all be avoided with a simple supplemet.

Not all supplements are created equal

So which supplements should you choose? Opting for a pharmecutical grade supplement such as Fultium Daily D3, which is only available from pharmacies, means that you will be safe in the knowledge that your family is getting the correct level of vitamin D.

Formulated specifically to meet the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition’s (SACN) and Public Health England’s (PHE) new recommended vitamin D guidelines is Fultium Daily D3. Fultium Daily D3 is a new, high quality, pharmaceutical grade supplement.

Fultium Daily D3 is free from artificial preservatives and sweeteners. The capsule gelatine is both Halal and Kosher certified and the drops are suitable for vegetarians.

The Full Story From The Experts – The A-Z of Vitamin D

Absorption

Calcium absorption in the body is promoted by vitamin D, which enables normal bone production, strength and repair.

Bone health

Research has shown that a consistently low level of Vitamin D means that some people will be predisposed to bone fractures.

Colour of your skin

The colour of your skin can make a big difference when it comes to how easily you can absorb vitamin D from sunlight. If you have pale skin you will make vitamin D more quickly than if you had darker skin. Often those with paler skin may avoid the sun for fear of burning, so may also be low in vitamin D. 

Melanin is the substance that affects how light or dark your skin is. The more melanin you have, the darker your skin colour will be. The amount of vitamin D that you can produce is determined by the level of melanin you have in your skin.

Dose

New guidelines say that everyone over one year-old should get 10mcg Vitamin D a day. It can be hard for anyone in the UK to get enough, particularly in the winter months, so we should consider taking a supplement. People who are living in care homes or housebound, pregnant and breastfeeding women are being advised to take 10mcg all year round.

Exposure to sunlight

Experts say that people in the UK, aged 1 and over requires 10 micrograms (μg) of vitamin D a day with 8.5-10 micrograms a day for infants under 1 year. This is particularly important during the winter months.

Food

You can get small amounts of vitamin D from food including oily fish, red meat, egg yolks, fortified drinks, cereals and milk. However, you would need to eat one of the following servings every day to get enough vitamin D from your diet alone.

  • 1 Portion of oily fish (however, the NHS says you should only eat 2 a week depending on your lifestyle) 
  • 6 Boiled eggs
  • 10+ Tins of tuna 
  • 7+ Bowls of cereal fortified in vitamin D 
  • 10 Rump steaks                
  • 10+ Lamb’s liver
  • 13+ Lumps of reduced fat spread

GP diagnosis

Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency can present with no symptoms at all, though generalised muscle aches and low mood have been reported. Diagnosis is made through a blood test at your GP surgery.

High-rise buildings

UK cities such as London which are densely populated with high rise buildings can limit sunlight exposure on bare skin and affect the amount of vitamin D people are able to absorb.

Immunity

Vitamin D plays a key role in the immune system, according to a growing amount of evidence.

Knowledge

Did you know that barely more than a 33% of people in the UK are aware of vitamin D advice[i]?

Lack of outdoor space

A reduction in children spending time outdoors, largely due to a lack of outdoor space, can also be a contributing factor to the increase of vitamin D deficiency in this country.

Medical conditions related to vitamin D deficiency

Depression, breast and colorectal cancer have all been linked to low levels of vitamin D. There is also an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease according to research[ii].

Normal levels of vitamin D

A serum 25 (OH) D level above 50 nmol/L is considered sufficient.

Office workers

Offices in urban areas provide very little natural sunlight exposure, and may contribute to insufficient vitamin D levels

Pollution

If you live somewhere where there is lots of pollution, your skin makes less vitamin D because polluted air soaks up UVB or reflects it back into space.

Quality

Make sure that you check with your pharmacist to ensure that the quality of your vitamin D supplement is suffiecint.

Rickets caused by a lack of Vitamin D

There is a growing rate of rickets in children due to vitamin D deficiency. Rickets is a condition where minerals aren’t laid down in bony tissue and bones become soft and deformed. Rickets was a common occurrence in the past but mostly disappeared during the early 20th century after certain foods like margarine and cereal were fortified with vitamin D. Sadly, in recent years cases of rickets are on the rise once more.

Sunscreen

As important as it is to apply sunscreen to protect our family’s skin from the harmful rays from the sun, unfortunately well applied sunscreen also tends to block the beneficial UVB rays from which we get our natural vitamin D.

Tablet vs oil Vitamin D supplements

Fultium Daily D3 is one of the few vitamin D tablet supplements specially formulated in a high-quality oil, which, unlike dry powdered tablets, is easily and effectively absorbed by the body. I’m happy to be working with the manufacturers of Fultium Daily D3 to raise awareness of vitamin D deficiency

UVB

It is only ultraviolet B rays which are responsible for synthesising vitamin D in the body.

Vitamin D supplements

There is a variety of vitamin D supplements available online and in health stores. Your pharmacist can advise on which are made to the same high standard as prescribed versions

Weakened immune system

Research says that that vitamin D deficiency weakens the immune system leading to other diseases such as respiratory infections.

X-ray

Wrist X-rays are sometimes required to investigate suspected cases of rickets or osteomalacia in children with low-levels of vitamin D.

You

The truth is, only you can control the vitamin D levels you get throughout the year. Unless you and your family spend a lot of time in the sun, you should consider a supplement

Zzzzzzzz

Lack of vitamin D is associated with sleep problems, particularly with daytime sleepiness.

Fultium Daily D3 is available in pharmacies only, in packs of 30s (RRP £3.99), 60s (RRP £7.49), 90s (RRP £10.99) and as 15ml drops (RRP £7.99). 

Fultium Daily D3 is free from artificial preservatives and sweeteners. The capsule gelatine is both Halal and Kosher certified and the drops are suitable for vegetarians. 

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