The A to Z of Vitamin D- Are Your Family Getting Enough?

The A to Z of Vitamin D- Are Your Family Getting Enough?
Vitamin D has been in the press quite a lot recently and National Vitamin D Awareness Week has just passed. Are you and your family getting enough? Chances are the answer is a big fat no. Thanks to the wonderful British weather being not so wonderful our exposure to natural Vitamin D has been greatly reduced. Add in factors such as high-rise buildings and urban offices, health conditions such as rickets – a health condition where minerals aren’t laid down in bony tissue and bones become soft and deformed –  are now on the rise. Vitamin D is essential to enable you to absorb calcium from food, and we all know how important calcium is for healthy bones, especially in children.
Dr Sarah Jarvis, who has over 30 years’ experience in the NHS and over 26 years as a GP, has written her A to Z of vitamin D to help educate on the importance of Vitamin D.

A – Absorption

Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption to enable normal bone growth, strength and repair.

B – Bone health

Research has shown that a persistently low-level of Vitamin D predisposes some people to bone fractures.

C – Colour of your skin

The colour of your skin makes a big difference to how easily you can absorb Vitamin D from sunlight. Pale skinned people like myself make Vitamin D more quickly but we are also more likely to avoid the sun.

D – Dose

New guidelines say that everyone over 1-year-old should get 10mcg Vitamin D a day, particularly in the winter months. People who are housebound, pregnant or breastfeeding are being advised to take 10mcg all year round.

E – Exposure to sunlight

The most natural way to get Vitamin D is to expose bare skin to sunlight between 11 and 3 from April to September. The absorption of Vitamin D can happen very quickly, you don’t need to tan or burn to get Vitamin D.

F – Food

You can get very small amounts of Vitamin D from food such as oily fish, red meat, egg yolks, fortified drinks, cereals and milk. Food alone will not provide enough Vitamin D.

G – GP Diagnosis

Vitamin D 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.

H – High – Rise Buildings

Large UK cities such as London which are densely populated with high-rise buildings can affect the amount of Vitamin D people are able to absorb due to the limited sunlight exposure on bare skin.

I – Immunity

According to recent news, a growing amount of evidence suggests that Vitamin D plays a key role in the immune system.

K – Knowledge

Barely more than a third of people are aware of Vitamin D advice.

L – Lack of outdoor space

A lack of outdoor space and children spending a reduced amount of time outdoors can also be a contributing factor to the increase of Vitamin D deficiency in this country.

M – 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.

N – Normal levels of Vitamin D

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

O – Office workers

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

P – Pollution

Polluted air soaks up UVB or reflects it back into space. This means if you live in a high pollution area, your skin makes less Vitamin D.

Q – Quality

If you are worried about the quality of certain Vitamin D supplements, Pharmaceutical grade Vitamin D supplements such as FultiumdailyD3 are available in pharmacies. Just ask the pharmacy team.

R – Rickets caused by lack of Vitamin D

Rickets in children was a common occurrence in the past and mostly disappeared during the early 20th century after foods like margarine and cereals were fortified with Vitamin D. However, in recent years cases of rickets are on the rise.

S – Sunscreen

Carefully and correctly applied sunscreen blocks a lot of Vitamin D production.

T – Tablet Vs oil Vitamin D supplements

Fultium Daily D3 is one of the few tablet supplements specially formulated in a high-quality oil, which, unlike dry powdered tablets, is easily and effectively absorbed by the body.

U – UVB

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

V – Vitamin D supplements

There is a variety of Vitamin D supplements available in store and online. Your pharmacist can advise you on which are made to the same high standards as prescribed versions.

W – Weakened immune system

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

X – X-ray

Wrist X-rays are sometimes required to investigate suspected rickets/osteomalacia in children with low-level Vitamin D.

Y – You

Ony you can control the Vitamin D levels you get throughout the year. Unless you spend a lot of time in the sun, consider a supplement.

Z – Zzzzzzz

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

 

We have been taking Fultium Daily D3 Drops to up our intake recently. I chose the drops because I really struggle taking tablets and as the drops are tasteless I have been sneaking them into my daughters milk and she has been non the wiser (not suitable for children consuming 500ml or more of formula a day). The drops are free from artificial preservatives and sweeteners and are also suitable for vegetarians. You can also buy capsules if you prefer.

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

Amy x

*We were sent the drops in exchange for our honest opinion 

1 Comment

  1. November 5, 2017 / 9:53 am

    So important to get enough vitamin D, especially in the UK where there’s so little light in winter. It’s interesting that the NHS guidelines for babies recently changed so now breastfed babies should be receiving a vitamin D supplement.

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