A vitamin D supplement a day help keeps the doctor away
The UK is notorious for its fluctuating weather, with rain and sometimes even snow gracing our summer season and dark and dreary days remaining throughout most of the winter. Our sunny days are numbered and this has had a harsh effect on our overall vitamin D levels. Vitamin D absorbs calcium and promotes bone growth, as well as helps to fight cancer, heart disease, depression, and weight gain. So, it is important that we are getting our required daily amount, either through direct sunlight, our diet, or via supplements. Due to our turbulent weather and sporadic sunny days, our best option in the UK is to take a supplement, especially during the autumn/winter period. In fact, new recommendations from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), which are supported by the UK Government, state that everyone in the UK should be taking a daily vitamin D supplement. Rather surprisingly, new survey results* from Vega Vitamins show that 79% of UK adults do not take a vitamin D supplement, despite 47% expressing a concern that they are deficient in Vitamin D.
“During autumn and winter, everyone will need to rely on dietary sources of vitamin D, since it is difficult for people to meet the 10mg recommendation from consuming foods naturally containing or fortified in vitamin D, people should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D in autumn and winter.” Government’s landmark statement on 21st July 2016**
However, only 20% of people had heard about the Government’s latest recommendations and 73% believed that they were getting their required amount of vitamin D every day from the food they eat, which is not the case. But, what is even more alarming is that only 10% of parents give their children a stand-alone vitamin D supplement every day – meaning that 9 out of 10 parents don’t!
Why do we need vitamin D?
Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, both of which are needed for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. Vitamin D also helps to keep the immune system functioning normally and, due to the lack of sunshine and ingesting the required daily amount through diet, most people in the UK are deficient in vitamin D during autumn and winter.
“A healthy, balanced diet and short bursts of sunshine will mean most people will get all the vitamin D they need in spring and summer. However, everyone will need to consider taking a supplement in autumn and winter if you don’t eat enough foods that naturally contain vitamin D or are fortified with it.” Dr. Louis Levy, Head of Nutrition Science at Public Health England.
How much vitamin D should we be getting every day?
The government has recommended that everybody should be getting 10 micrograms (400iu) of vitamin D a day and children should be getting around 7 micrograms (280 IU) per day.
What if you are deficient in vitamin D?
If you find that you are lacking in vitamin D, it is recommended that you take a higher dose daily to build up your vitamin D levels to the required amount. NHS Hertfordshire has produced guidance on those with vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency (you can find the link here), which includes a helpful table (below) on which foods contain vitamin D and the required daily allowance per 100 grams.
|Type of Food||Average amount vitamin D per 100 grams|
|Oily fish||200-400 IU (5-10 micrograms)|
|Fortified margarine||280 IU (7 micrograms)|
|Fortified breakfast cereals||120-320 IU (3-9 micrograms)|
|Red meat||40 IU (1 microgram)|
|Egg yolk||Approximately 20 IU per egg yolk (0.5 micrograms)|
|People at risk of vitamin D deficiency||Daily vitamin D supplement|
|Infants less than 6 months||May not need supplements as should get adequate amounts from breast milk or infant formula milk. If there is any doubt about mother’s use of supplements during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding, breastfed infants will benefit from vitamin D supplements from 1 month with 340 IU/day (8.5 micrograms/day)|
|Infants & children 6 months–5 years Unless they are drinking >500ml infant formula per day||280 IU/day (7 micrograms/day)|
|All pregnant/breastfeeding women||400 IU/day (10 micrograms/day)|
|People not exposed much to the sun, e.g. confined indoors for long periods, those who cover their skin||400 IU/day (10 micrograms/day)|
|People aged >65 years||400 IU/day (10 micrograms/day)|
Vega Vitamins can provide the whole family with the daily recommended allowance of vitamin D and more
Unfortunately, Vega Nutritionals’ survey shows that the Government’s message has not reached the UK’s population, so Vega Vitamins was launched to offer a range of new vitamin D products that seeks to spread the message to people and to provide easy-to-use vitamin D supplements to suit their individual needs.
“In recent years, vitamin D has been identified as being increasingly important for supporting health at all ages. As sunshine is the main way we get vitamin D and we see little sunshine in the UK, particularly in the autumn and winter months, we are encouraged by the government’s latest recommendations.”
Vega Vitamins use state of the art technology and is based upon clinical evidence so that every member of the family is covered. The range covers sprays, chewable tablets and infant drops, and are available at two different doses – 10 micrograms (400IU) as recommended for everybody by the government, and 50 micrograms (2000iu), which is an intensive dose for adults who wish to supplement at a higher level.
What’s included in the Vega Vitamins range?
Infant-D drops have been specifically developed for babies and toddlers to provide 10 micrograms of vitamin D per drop – RRP £6.95
EveryDay-D 10mg – suitable for children (4+) and adults and is available in a tasty orange spray or as blackcurrant chewable tablets (100s and 500s) – RRP £5.95
Urgent-D 50mg – for adults wanting a higher a dose of vitamin D and is available as a fresh mint spray or as blackcurrant chewable tablets. The Urgent-D chewable tablets were used in a 2016 clinical trial, which showed conclusively that people with insufficient levels can raise their levels to a sufficient amount after using the products for three months*** – RRP £7.95
The EveryDay-D and Urgent-D sprays use unique technology patented by Medlab Australia
“From our studies, we have found that the Medlab/Vega oral spray is hyper-absorbable and that vitamin D appears in the bloodstream in less than 4 minutes, and maybe even as quick as one minute after application. We also found that once in the blood stream, the vitamin D appears to be deployed into virtually all tissues extremely rapidly, particular in individuals who may be insufficient in their blood vitamin D levels.” Dr Luis Vitetta, Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney Medical School and Director of Medical Research at Medlab Clinical.
You can find these Vega Vitamins online at www.vegavitamins.co.uk and cost between £5.95 and £7.95 depending on the product.
Do you or your children take vitamin D supplements? Which brand do you use and have you noticed a difference in your health since supplementing your required amount with supplements?
* Vega Vitamins Consumer Survey, October 2016, 2,005 people surveyed from across the UK
** GOV.UK – PHE publishes new advice on vitamin D. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/phe-publishes-new-advice-on-vitamin-d
*** Witte K. et al (2016) The VINDICATE study J Am Coll Cardiol 67:2593-603
*Collaborative featured post*
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