This week is Vitamin D Awareness Week, brought to you by BetterYou. This post contains affiliate links to BetterYou products that I believe you will find very helpful. If you purchase any of the products through the links provided, I will receive a small commission as no extra cost to you.
Thank you in advance for supporting this blog.
Did you know that approximately 10 MILLION people in the UK alone have low levels of vitamin D?
This isn’t really surprising considering the fact that our main source of vitamin D is sunlight; the UK experiences sunshine about 2-3 weeks out of the year in total.
I’m just kidding: it’s 5 weeks.
But in all seriousness, vitamin D deficiency is a problem, especially during the winter when the days grow shorter and colder. For those who don’t know, vitamin D enables calcium to enter the bones and helps ensure a strong immune system. People with low levels of vitamin D may therefore display symptoms such as:
- constant tiredness and fatigue;
- low mood or depression;
- headaches and migraines;
- susceptibility to colds and coughs;
- aches and pains in bones and muscles.
A long-term deficiency in vitamin D can also lead to serious bone conditions such as osteoporosis. This weakens the bones by loss of bone material, making them more fragile and easy to break or fracture. My dear friend Alan who was my guest writer for my post on PTSD has osteoporosis, and I think he’d agree with me that it is not fun. His is not vitamin D-related, but ensuring that you are getting enough vitamin D can really benefit you in the near and distant future.
Who is Most Vulnerable?
Children, elderly people, pregnant women, people with darker skin tones, and those with little to no sunlight exposure (such as night staff or office workers) are more at risk to vitamin D deficiency. It is therefore advisable for these groups to supplement vitamin D all year round.
This means that a lot of us who suffer with depression could also fall into this category. Depression can leave you feeling as though you can’t face going outside. However, it can make it harder to get out of the rut since vitamin D deficiency results in tiredness, fatigue, and low mood. It may therefore be an idea for you to also take supplements too.
Supplementation For The Nation!
Vitamin D supplements are the most essential of vitamin supplements, since it is very difficult to eat yourself out of deficiency. Unless you eat two cans of sardines, seven eggs, or twelve blocks of cheese every day. And since we’re spending more and more time indoors and wear sunscreen when it’s sunny, a lot of us just aren’t getting enough of it naturally.
(Keep wearing that sunscreen though. That stuff is important for a whole other load of reasons.)
The autumn and winter periods are notorious for their lack of sunlight and cold weather that makes you want to curl up and hibernate. This makes it extremely difficult to get the UVB rays to get through the cloud cover and our clothes.
That is why the UK Department of Health has now recommended that everyone living in the UK should take vitamin D supplements from October to April.
The advice, which sees the supplementation advice broaden from ‘at risk’ groups to everyone, is based on the recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) following its review of the evidence on vitamin D and health.
And this is where BetterYou steps in!
BetterYou has been passionate about providing supplementary support across the UK, and are at the forefront of vitamin absorption research. They have also supported this blog post by giving me the opportunity to test my vitamin D levels using one of their blood test home kits.
BetterYou work with Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS trust to offer you a complete blood testing service from the comfort of your home. They later email you the results with a description to help you understand what your test result actually means.
You also receive a complimentary DLux Vitamin D Oral Spray at a strength relevant to your results.
One of the side effects of depression is fatigue and tiredness, and it’s the one thing through my slow recovery that I just can’t shift. I knew it could be due to a deficiency in vitamin D so I was really grateful to BetterYou for offering me a blood test kit.
The results came back within four days; I posted it on a Thursday and was emailed the results the following Monday, which was really impressive. It turns out my levels are adequate, so my fatigue problems aren’t related to that.
Along with my results, I received a code to get my free oral spray plus the following advice:
Total Vitamin D :
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 58.4nmol/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.
My levels are perhaps okay at the moment from when Phil and I went to Berlin in June. My skin had a lot of opportunity to convert UVB rays to vitamin D and store it away for when I need it. However those levels won’t last forever, so it’s better to keep them topped up over winter regardless.
Discounts and Giveaway!
BetterYou are offering 20% off all of their vitamin D oral sprays for this week (last day is 29th October 2017). There are two different strengths: the DLux1000 and DLux3000 depending on your current levels, as well as sprays especially for infants under 3, children, and pregnant women.
The great thing about oral sprays is that they are absorbed by the soft tissue within the mouth, giving faster supplementation than traditional tablets and capsules.
And now for the giveaway!
I will be putting the names of my subscribers (both email and WordPress subscribers) into a hat up until Sunday 29th October 2017. And then, at 9pm BST, I will be randomly picking the winner of the DLux3000 oral spray.
So get subscribing if you fancy the chance to win this supplementary spray!
Thanks again to BetterYou for supporting this blog post. If you want more information about vitamin D or anything mentioned in this post, check out the official Vitamin D Awareness Week website at www.vitamindawarenessweek.co.uk.
Look after yourselves, everyone, and remember to keep smiling!