Friday, 20 October 2017

Vitamin D Awareness Week with BetterYou


vitamin-d-awareness-week-BetterYou-illustration

Vitamin D Awareness Week with BetterYou*

BetterYou is supporting Vitamin D Awareness Week which runs from 23rd - 29th October and asked me to join in. I have a personal interest in Vitamin D as I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder) and found that taking Vitamin D supplements really help with my symptoms. I plan to start taking a daily supplement from October and continue right through the winter until the days are longer, and the sun is stronger, (usually end of April, beginning of May). I take DLux 3000 as it is a mouth spray that absorbs easily and tastes great, in fact, I feel better almost as soon as I have used the spray. BetterYou invited me to take a test to find out my Vitamin D levels but firstly why is Vitamin D important and how do we get it?

Why is Vitamin D important?

Vitamin D is needed to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies. These are needed for healthy teeth, bones and muscles.

A deficiency of Vitamin D causes rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Symptoms of low levels of Vitamin D can include fatigue, frequent colds, slow healing of wounds and depression.


How Do We Get Vitamin D?

Some foods are fortified with Vitamin D, these include breakfast cereals and fat spread, but I eat none of these, and neither does my grandson. We like "real" butter and most cereals have too much sugar.

Vitamin D is found naturally in oily fish (salmon, mackerel for example), red meat, liver and egg yolks, but it's difficult for many people to get enough from food alone.

Vitamin D is also produced by the action of sunlight on our skin. As you can imagine, living in the UK makes that very difficult and the NHS website reports that we get none from the sun between October and March.

How do you know if you need a supplement?

According to NHS guidelines everyone in the UK should consider taking Vitamin D supplements between October and March. During these months we do not get any from the sun and it is difficult to get enough from food alone. Those that have little exposure to the sun in summer and those with dark skin should consider taking supplements all year around.

My post Do We Need Vitamin D Supplements? gives more information or you could visit your doctor and ask for advice and get a blood test to check your levels.

BetterYou sell a home test kit that is easy to do. They sent me a kit to check my levels. There is a prepaid envelope included to return the sample, it is sent to a NHS hospital laboratory.

I must admit when I agreed to do the test I didn't realise it was a blood test, I thought I'd just have to spit in a pot (I know, how daft am I?) I am a complete coward and when the test arrived I had to gather all my strength to use the lance to prick my finger.
It wasn't as bad as I had imagined. The instructions are really clear and it comes with everything you need including a sticky plaster (aww, I should have had one with "brave girl" on it). A quick stab, a few drops of blood, and that's it.
A couple of days later the results are emailed with advice on what supplements (if any) are needed. There is also a code to get a complimentary DLux Vitamin D spray in the relevant strength.

Vitamin-D-Awareness-Week-with-BetterYou-home-test-kit

I expected my results to be fine as we spend every day outside and we eat lots of eggs and fish, and I feel good at the moment. I know that my levels will drop and by the end on November, without Vitamin D, I would be feeling really bad with SAD.

My Results

received an email with lots of useful information and my results.

Total Vitamin D :
64.3nmol/L –ADEQUATE

Vitamin D is extremely important, but sufficient quantities are very hard to gain through diet alone, in fact just 10 per cent of our intake is through food. The rest is generated through sun exposure.  BetterYou recommends optimal levels of vitamin D are between 75-150nmol/L, which provides the body with optimum immunity support. Therefore, at 64.3nmol/L, you may wish to increase your levels.

As a general rule, BetterYou advise that 1000IU of vitamin D is supplemented, per 25kg of body weight – as a maintenance dose. For your result, we would recommend the following supplementation guidelines, incorporating a loading dose to begin with -
·         2 sprays of DLux3000 (6,000IU) per day for two weeks as a loading dose
·         Following this, 1 spray per day as a maintenance dose.  

Although I was surprised that my levels were just adequate I was due to start my daily supplement. I had not started at the beginning of October as planned as I wanted to know what my levels were without supplements.

I found the test reassuring that I was taking the correct supplement. Government guidelines are for every adult to take 10μg of Vitamin D a day, which is about 400IU. I am happy taking the larger dose as I have been doing this each winter, for many years, with some success.

If you would like your own results and recommendations then each testing kit costs £28 and comes with a code to get a complimentary spray. DLux 3000 was recommended for me and usually costs £7.95.


Have you thought about having a test? Or taking a supplement?

*I was given the home test kit and samples of DLux vitamin D spray for the purpose of this post. I agreed as I already use this brand (see my I get SAD post from last year) and I wanted to know my results. All opinions are honest and my own.

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1 comment

  1. Vitamins are crucial for the body and we often neglect getting vitamin tests. I think everyone should add vitamin supplements to their diets. Thank you for all the information on vitamin D.

    ReplyDelete

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