Could You Be Deficient In The All Important Vitamin D?

By Nisha Patel - Pharmacist and Co-Founder -

According to the stats it could very much be a possibility, especially in the winter months.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) which provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care estimates;

  • Around 1 in 5 adults and around 1 in 6 children, may have low vitamin D status which is an estimated 10 million people across England.
  • Of these people 8% of adults aged 19 to 64 had low vitamin D status in the summer compared to a staggering 39% in the winter.
  • For children aged 2 to 10 years 2% are low in summer compared to 32% in the winter.
  • Shockingly 75% of people with darker skin have low vitamin D status in the winer.

Role of Vitamin D in the body

Vitamin D plays a vital role in the body by helping regulate the calcium and phosphate.

Vitamin D for healthy bones and teethMost people probably know that a lack in vitamin D can lead to a bone deformity called rickets in children but can also lead to osteomalacia (bone pain and tenderness) in adults.

Vitamin D for a strong immune systemAs well as being linked with strong bones and teeth, vitamin D is essential for a robust immune system.

Vitamin D for depressionA study from the Oregon State University also suggested that there is a relationship between low levels of vitamin D and depression in otherwise healthy young women.

Vitamin D for disease prevention– Low blood levels of this vitamin has also been associated with increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in older adults, severe asthma in children and also linked to cancer.

Sources of vitamin D

Commonly termed the “sunshine vitamin” because it is produced by the action of sunlight on the skin. But the problem lies in the fact that in the UK between the months of mid-October to April, the skin is unable to make vitamin D from the winter sunlight because of the weakness of ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. Instead Vitamin D should solely be obtained from diet and our body’s stores.

Dietary sources of Vitamin D

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Egg yolk
  • Fortified food e.g cereal

However, for some this isn’t sufficient and this is where supplementation is vital.

Groups that are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency

There are specific risk groups that include;

  • Children under 5
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • People over 65
  • People who have no or low exposure to sunlight
  • People with darker skin (African, Caribbean and Asian background)

Advantages of intra oral Vitamin D supplementation

It’s important to try to get as much vitamin D from sunshine as you can and build up stores in the summer months. Being outdoors is  not only the primary source of this essential vitamin but holds many other health benefits. Diet can also play an important role. However, for those who can’t get enough vitamin D through these mean, especially those in the risk groups vitamin D supplementation is of utmost importance.

A novel way of Vitamin D supplementation is via an oral spray which doesn’t require any swallowing. This intra-oral formulation allows the vitamin D to be absorbed via the thin mucosal membrane of the mouth with is rich in blood vessels. It is simply sprayed inside the cheek of the mouth. Studies performed by scientist in Athens found intra oral vitamin D showed 53% greater absorption rates than oral tablets.

In a previous study led by Dr Charles Heard, Senior Lecturer at The Welsh National School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Cardiff University, it was demonstrated how much faster the uptake of intra oral vitamin D supplementation was compared to oral tablets when comparing their absorption rates by the body. In fact the intra oral spray absorption was shown to be almost as fast as IV or intramuscular injections but thankfully less painful.

These studies suggest intra oral vitamin D sprays could offer more vitamin D to the body at a faster rate. This is great news for those who don’t like/or are unable to swallow tablets.

You can take a look at our entire range of intra oral vitamin D sprays for the whole family in the natural health star health shop

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