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Vitamin D - dont leave it to guesswork

Why are so many people deficient in vitamin D? And what can be done about it?

Vitamin D is rarely out of the news nowadays and most people know that the "sunshine vitamin" is essential for good health. It helps our bodies absorb calcium, is thought to protect us from a host of diseases from cancer to multiple sclerosis, as well as supporting our nervous and immune systems. But despite its newsworthy status, the vast majority of Medichecks customers have insufficient or deficient vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D

So why is this?

Vitamin D is created in the body by the action of sunlight on the skin. Although some foods contain small amounts of vitamin D, eating oily fish or fortified fats isn't enough to get vitamin D levels to optimum levels. To have an impact on vitamin D creation the sun's rays need to be as direct as possible. If you lived close to the equator you would have ample opportunity for vitamin D creation.

However, the further north you go, the weaker those rays become, losing their impact to create vitamin D. This is thought to be why Northern Europeans are fair skinned - it is an adaptation to allow them to absorb more Vitamin D in areas of the world where the sun's rays are less powerful. However, chances are that in a British winter, unless you've jetted off for some winter sun, you will, like the majority of our customers, have insufficient levels of vitamin D. 

Another way of getting vitamin D in the winter months is to take supplements, but even when our customers report taking vitamin D supplements, many of them still don't reach the desired levels in their blood. This is because many brands of vitamin D, especially in a general multi-vitamin, don't contain enough vitamin D to get to optimum levels.

Our advice for optimum vitamin D is to take the guesswork out and start with a blood test. If you haven't been supplementing then it could provide the incentive you need to start, and if you are supplementing then it will tell you whether you are getting enough. Then we advise you to retest after a few weeks to see whether the supplement you are taking is strong enough or whether you need to adjust the dose.

With our affordable and convenient vitamin D blood test, managing your vitamin D level has never been easier.