The Vitamin D Lowdown

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The Vitamin D Lowdown

  • Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, also categorised as a hormone. It is made by our bodies from cholesterol by the action of UVB from sunlight on our skin.
  • It helps to control the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies, which are needed for healthy bones, teeth and muscles.
  • In this country, most people should get enough UVB in the summer months if they get outside in the sun, but UVB dwindles to almost nothing from October to March.
  • Vitamin D3 (the type we need) is also found in oily fish (salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines), egg yolks, red meat, fat, liver and fortified foods such as some dairy products and breakfast cereals. While it is wise to eat these, we would have to consume huge amounts to get enough – thus the need for supplements.
  • So how much vitamin D do we need? The recommended supplementary amount of vitamin D3 from the age of one to 70 is 400 IU (10mcg) and 320-400 IU for babies.
  • However, many experts believe 1,000 IU or higher is more appropriate for adults.
  • For people with diagnosed vitamin D deficiency, the recommended maintenance therapy (after testing to ensure an optimal level has been reached) is 800 to 2,000 IU daily.
  • Pharmacist Shabir Daya recommends trying the Better You DLux 1,000 Spray, a sublingual spray that provides 100 doses of 1,000 IU.

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Sun Loving

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Reading one of the books for my yoga teacher training course, written by a very wise modern-day Swami, I was struck by these lines: ‘The rays of the sun give life to all living beings; the heat of the sun is energising. It removes all kinds of ailments. When the rays of the sun are absorbed in the right measure, the right amount, they have healing power.’ It got me thinking about my attitude to the sun and how it has changed over the years. As a child I’d be outside all the time without a care in the world. I couldn’t wait for the days to get longer so I could play in the back garden all the time – usually from the Easter holidays onwards. When the sun was hot, or when we were on holiday, my mum would slather us in a thick white sun cream called Uvistat. Her fair skin had been burned as a child, and she wanted to protect us. This was the 70s and I realise now she was ahead of the curve in terms of using sunscreens at a time when many were slathering on baby oil to increase their tan. Read More…