We know from living in the UK that once the holiday seasons passed, the bitter cold and miserable weather can make us desperately look forward to Summer where we lie out the back or on a beach to catch some rays. However, a subconscious reason we are happier when out in the sun may be because we’re getting our essential supply of Vitamin D.
Here’s 4 questions surrounding Vitamin D Deficiency and the answers that’ll help you see the bigger picture.
1. Is Vitamin D Deficiency a common issue?
The NHS estimated that 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 6 children in the UK from 2021, did not have enough Vitamin D in their blood in 2021. Although this is common throughout the whole year, the British Nutrition Foundation states nearly 50% of British adults are not aware of the governments recommendation to take supplements in Autumn and Winter months.
Our recommended dietary allowance is 10-20 mcg (micrograms) or 800 IU (International Units) per day however for those who don’t get enough sunlight, you can safely consume 25 mcg daily. To put that into perspective that’s:
- 100 grams of fresh salmon
- 2 teaspoons of cod liver oil supplements
- Approximately 5 to 30 minutes of sun exposure
2. What impacts would being deficient have on my wellbeing?
Ensuring you have enough Vitamin D in your body is crucial for many aspects of your overall health:
- Vital for development of healthy bones and teeth
- Improving muscle strength
- Fighting infection and protecting you against certain cancers
- Keeping energy levels high
Being deficient in these areas not only reduces the effectiveness of these functions but if untreated can lead to:
- Fatigue, aches, and overall sense of feeling unwell
- Osteromalacia – severe pain in muscles and joints making climbing stairs or even getting up from a low chair difficult.
- Painful bones to moderate pressure – commonly the lower back hips, pelvis, thighs, and feet
- Children may experience late teething/tooth decay, poor growth, rickets and are further prone to illness.
3. What am I missing in my diet that’s a source of Vitamin D?
The most obvious source of Vitamin D is sunlight but from October to March in the UK where the sun rarely shines, how do we keep these levels up?
Consumable sources of Vitamin D include:
- Oily Fish – salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel
- Red meat
- Egg Yolks
- Fortified Foods i.e., fatty spreads or breakfast cereals
If you are living a vegan lifestyle, supplements are also available at any pharmacy containing a daily dose of 10 micrograms.
4. I might be deficient. How can I be sure and what can I do?
Vitamin D Deficiency can be tested via blood sampling, but what if you don’t want the hassle of travelling to a clinic to have this done?
Randox Health aim to give customers the ability to manage their health through testing, attacking risks of illness once spotted to ultimately, defend their future. Therefore, we’ve introduced our Vitamin D Home Testing kits.
With this, there’s no need to travel to a clinic and back. You can take your sample, send return using a supplied Royal Mail return label and receive a comprehensive report detailing these levels within the comfort of your own home.