Luckily vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that whatever you do produce over the Summer, or when on holiday, you’ll store it in your fat cells and it will get used up gradually. But for most of us we don’t store enough over the Summer to last us all Winter, and many people are already deficient before Winter has even begun.
This week is Vitamin D Awareness week and high-quality supplement producers BetterYou have teamed up with Vitamin D Awareness Week to raise awareness and help you overcome the problems associated with having low levels of vitamin D.
To get the recommended 400iu per day you’d have to eat 8 eggs, 2 kg of cheese or 2 cans of tuna, every day! Since this isn’t realistic, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition recommend everyone takes a supplement over the winter months. But 400iu is the maintenance dose; if you’re already deficient you’ll need a bit more until your levels are back to normal.
It’s estimated that one in 5 adults (and one in 6 kids) are deficient, so there’s a good chance you fall into that category of needing a top up over Autumn, Winter, and early Spring. You’re especially likely to be deficient if you have anything other than snow-white skin (a tan or naturally dark skin repels vitamin D, since the dark pigment, melanin, is your body’s own sun protection), or spend a lot of time indoors because of your job or lifestyle.
BetterYou are now offering home Vitamin D testing that you simply pop in the post (scroll to the bottom for a discount), and can check your levels without needing to visit your doctor. It’s a simple finger prick test that’s analysed by the NHS for both D2 and D3 levels (both are important) and results, along with an explanation and recommended action plan or supplements personalised to you. The test can be done on children as well as adults, and the mouth sprays are safe for coeliacs and diabetics.
I am happy to report that at the time of taking the test, my Vitamin D levels are adequate, without being anywhere near the ‘too high’ toxicity level. To be honest this didn’t surprise me. I walk to school and enjoy gardening, and we’ll just had the hottest UK Summer for many years.
Problems will arise further into Winter when I’ve had a few months of not so much sun, and the stores I’ve built up are running out. For this reason I’m going to get the whole family to start using the Vitamin D sprays in a couple of months’ time to see us through to Spring.
If you don’t get outside as much as I do (or eat as healthily) you might want to consider getting tested and taking supplements sooner. At 66 nmol/L I wasn’t that far over the 50 nmol/L minimum and I imagine many people in the UK may be deficient already.
Unlike some other nutrients, Vitamin D is actually best absorbed orally, with mouth sprays, where micro droplets can be fast absorbed into the bloodstream. The tooth friendly minty tasting sprays are also handbag friendly if mornings are chaotic in your house (if you’re a parent, that’s highly likely), and BetterYou have various doses and products depending on who’s taking it and the amount you need, starting from birth and going right through to old age.