The importance of vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency remains a worldwide issue with around 1 billion people across the globe experiencing inadequate levels. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggests that around 10 million people in the UK could be at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is important as it supports the body in regulating our intake of calcium and phosphorous. These are two essential minerals required, among other things, for the formation of healthy bones, teeth and muscles. The National Osteoporosis Society have identified that a staggering one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will break a bone and as such, vitamin D supplementation is widely recommended to everyone over the age of 50.

Women are encouraged to supplement vitamin D during preconception and pregnancy as research suggests that this vital vitamin provides benefits for conceiving and the delivery of healthy full-term births. These benefits extend to the subsequent infants as vitamin D may help to reduce the risk of infants being small for their gestational age as well as improving growth.

Sources of vitamin D

For those living in the northern hemisphere the amount of UVB radiation in Autumn and Winter is not sufficient enough to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D. Even during the Summer months, it is predicted that up to 13% of the population will be deficient.

80-90% of our vitamin D stores are provided by the sun, with few foods providing meaningful quantities of vitamin D. The only foods which provide vitamin D at a meaningful level are eggs (but only from hens fed vitamin D) and fatty fish such as mackerel and herring.

Our near-complete reliance on sunlight to provide us with vitamin D is problematic due to modern lifestyles, where time spent outdoors is on the decrease and the use of sun cream and cosmetics containing SPF is on the increase (sun cream blocks UVB rays which are critical for the production of vitamin D in the skin).

Testing your levels

To fully understand if your lifestyle and diet are putting you at risk of vitamin D deficiency, a simple blood spot test can give you the answer. We’ve partnered with Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust to provide this easy to do, Vitamin D Blood Test which you can complete from the comfort of your own home.

It will give you an accurate reading of the vitamin D levels within your blood and we will send you a full breakdown of what the results mean, a supplementation plan tailored to your level and a complimentary Vitamin D Oral Spray so you can start supplementing your way to optimal levels immediately.

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