Vitamin D Awareness Week (+ Giveaway!)

Vitamin D Awareness Week

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.

Vitamin D Awareness Week Vitamin D-mons

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.

They also gave me two of their vitamin D oral sprays: the DLux1000 and DLux3000. One of which I will be giving away to one of you lovely people!

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

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.

Vitamin D results

Along with my results, I received a code to get my free oral spray plus the following advice:

Total Vitamin D :

58.4nmol/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 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.

Vitamin D Awareness Week discount

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!

Vitamin D oral spray 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!

7 thoughts on “Vitamin D Awareness Week (+ Giveaway!)”

    1. My osteoporosis (which came as a total surprise) was due to my being an ancient worthy of at the time of some 73 summers. Back in Oct. 2013 I was beavering away in the garden when “twang” something gave way in my back leaving me in some considerable pain. As you do, I trotted indoors, put the kettle on, had a cuppa and half an hours R&R. Result, even more pain. Visits to my GP , plus x-rays and an MRI scan (all within 12 hours) revealed three fractured lower vertebrae. Then my GP had a light bulb moment and she sent me for a DXA scan, which showed the culprit was osteoporosis.

      I take an alendronic acid tablet daily to encourage new bone growth plus two huge Vitamin D tablets, one in the morning and one at night. I tend to spend three to four hours daily outside as I’m a keen gardener, 20 minutes of sun a day gives me my normal Vit.D requirement in any case on most days.

      However, I STILL have three crushed vertebrae, the are beyond repair because there is not sufficient strong bone in my spine to attach them to. Strong painkillers help but not totally so mental attitude has to be a strong point as well.

      From an age viewpoint, gardening is good, physical exercise. Osteoporosis will allow bones to weaken if they not used. My mental attitude is 100% positive, something that is of equal importance, sitting in a corner and feeling sorry for oneself is not the way to behave. My working life as an aircraft engineer for 24 years and later, 11 years as a self-employed gardener, both physically hard work, has played a major part in my mental outlook and there was no elf and safety back then, just common sense.

      The only fear that I have is about to start soon, frost and ice. I cannot afford to hit the ground with a wallop, that could cause fractures to my weakened bone structure. So on a frosty, icy day or when there is a shallow fall of snow I have “pull on” spikes that fit over my shoes.

      So, to all you (mainly) young people reading this, if you don’t get out into the fresh air and sun enough, take your Vitamin D tablets, they are an important part of a healthy life style. Once I was young like you, one day you will be old like me! By taking care of your health now, in the years yet to come, you too can have a satisfying and happy retirement.

  1. Your comment about the 3 weeks – just kidding 5 weeks made me giggle. Even with nice weather here, in Atlanta, GA, USA it’s easy to get stuck in the comfort of the home and not go outside. I know my kids need the outdoors for the sun, the play, and fresh air but sometimes I forget for myself too!

    1. I live in the north-west of England, which is well known for its “grim” weather. We usually get the worst of the weather in England, although I can imagine that Ireland and Scotland get it a lot worse! But I digress.

      I think the main problem these days is to do with how much we rush around these days. Seriously, every time I tell myself that I should go for a walk I end up thinking about all the other things I need to do so I do those instead. Or I drive to my destination so I can squeeze in more things to do. It’s definitely more of an adult thing!

    1. I didn’t know that! Is that to do with UVA, UVB, or both? Send some of your sunny weather to the UK, please!

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