Summer in the UK is slowly coming to an end and with it so is our regular exposition to the sun, which gives us so needed Vitamin D. In the UK, as in many other European countries, it is recommended that all young children and pregnant women should be supplementing their intake of Vitamin D, but it’s worth knowing that the number of people at risk of its deficiency is constantly growing. Read on to find out more about this popular nutrient and why we’ve chosen it to be featured in our Product of the Month series.
Vitamin D has a number of proven health benefits, but the main one is that it helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, keeping the bones, teeth and muscles healthy. In addition to that, Vitamin D plays an important role in the process of cell division and it contributes to proper functioning of immune system. Natural Vitamin D is absorbed to human body after exposure to sunlight or from a small number of foods such as eggs, some dairy products and oily fish, but with the climate we live in, it is often difficult to guarantee the intake of sufficient amount. According to NICE statistics, Vitamin D deficiency affects over 10 million people in the UK alone, with 1 in 6 adults and 1 in 5 children suffering from this easily resolvable pandemic. That’s where the ever growing supply of vitamin D supplements comes in.
The market for vitamin D has been on the up over the last few years and there’s a strong potential for further growth. It’s not only the elderly or expectant mothers or their infants that are recommended to supplement Vitamin D anymore. NHS advises that also people of Asian origin, those with darker skin as well as those who rarely go outdoors or who always cover all their skin when they are outside, should also consider taking additional vitamin D supplements. Researchers led by Dr Sebastian Straube at the University of Alberta in Canada have found out that even young professionals or any indoor workers that tend to do long hours are at risk of vitamin D insufficiency. “Any activity that reduces exposure to sun and UV for prolonged periods of time, tends to reduce vitamin D levels.” said Straube.
Other reports say that more and more people living in Europe have problems with deficiency of this crucial vitamin. According to the researchers from Trinity College in Dublin, one in eight adults over the age of 50 living in Ireland are vitamin D deficient, with the figures increasing significantly during the winter period to around one in four adults. Despite the obvious need, the study found very little use of vitamin D supplements – only 8.5% of the over-50’s population.
“To place this in context, in a country such as Finland, which gets less sunlight than Ireland and is at a more northern latitude, actually has less prevalence of vitamin D deficiency than Ireland (<1% vs 13%) due to a comprehensive public health policy of supplementation and fortification.” said professor Rose Anne Kenny, Principal Investigator of TILDA, further highlighting public health policy implications of the study findings.
In addition, to maintaining normal bone health and prevention of some common chronic conditions such as osteoporosis, Vitamin D may have relation to some other health areas, that so far haven’t been considered. Latest research has shown that vitamin D deficiency may also be associated with heart disease, kidney disease, brain health and diabetes. If these associations are confirmed in other large studies, then the raising rates of deficiency seen in adult population should be of major concern.
So far, it’s been claimed that the type of vitamin D supplemented is irrelevant and both forms 2 and 3 were treated as equivalent. However, the findings of the study, carried out by UK researchers, revealed that vitamin D3 was twice as effective in raising levels of the vitamin in the body than its counterpart D2.
We believe, early Autumn is the best time for our customers to stock up on Vitamin D health supplements, with the short winter days and limited exposure to sun ahead of us. Additionally, in October the demand for this popular nutrient significantly increases, partly due to a popular public awareness campaign called “Vitamin D Awareness Week”. The campaign was designed to raise the nation’s understanding of the health issues associated with declining levels of vitamin D and it does a marvelous job to remind everyone about the serious consequences Vitamin D deficiency can have for both children and adults alike.
At HTC we offer Vitamin D3 in 25ug tablets or 5,000iu softgels. For more information on any of our vitamins or for a free instant quote, please contact our sales team now on 01923 652529 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Claims for food supplements mentioned in this article are not meant for general public, but are purely for information of food supplement industry professionals. Please note that the claims are not authorised by European Food Safety Authority for use on labels or marketing materials.