The SPF Dilemma

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These days I’ve a new found love of the sun – the light mornings and being able to wander in the park and sit outside before the heat rises and the hustle and bustle of the day kicks in. In the past though, it was always a bit of a hassle to go out into the sun. Having fair skin, I would never leave the house without at least an SPF15 sunscreen on – whether I was on holiday in Greece or going to work. And I did this unfailingly throughout my teens, twenties and beyond. It was good in the sense that I was practising what I preached as a Beauty Director. It’s a fact that there is a direct correlation between sun exposure and premature ageing of the skin in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, uneven texture and pigmentation (and worse still, skin cancer). And this approach seems to have worked to keep my skin relatively youthful in my 50s. Read More…

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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Vitamin D Deficiency

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Vitamin D deficiency, which is estimated to affect 40 to 60 per cent of adult Europeans, has been linked to many chronic health conditions. Now a study by researchers at the University of Sheffield has found that the majority of participants living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) suffer from deficiency of this important vitamin, which is usually made in our bodies by the action of sunlight on the skin. The researchers advise people with IBS to ask their GP to test for vitamin D levels and, if deficient, prescribe a supplement of D3, which has helped a significant number. PS I take vitamin D3 daily via a sub-lingual (under the tongue) spray, DLux 1000 by Better You, £7.15 for 15ml (100 daily doses). Read More…

What Are Liposomal Encapsulated Vitamins?

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What are Liposomal Vitamins?

Over the last few months, liposomal encapsulated vitamins have been hailed as the best supplements to deliver vitamins to the body. It is important to understand what liposomal encapsulation technology (LET) entails in order to understand why these supplements may be very effective Read More…

The Benefits of Vitamin D

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Despite all the press about this vitamin, most of us have chosen to ignore the findings and hope we have sufficient levels in the bloodstream. The vitamin in question is of course Vitamin D3 and most of us are still not getting sufficient levels of this important vitamin in our bloodstream. According to the Department of Health, as much as 25% of the population is deficient in this vitamin! In reality, scientists estimate that this figure is actually low and could be nearer 60% or higher.

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is not strictly a vitamin. A vitamin is a compound that cannot be produced by the body and since vitamin D is produced in the skin as a result of exposure to sunlight, this is why vitamin D is more accurately described as a hormone. Although we are capable of producing vitamin D, we rarely manufacture sufficient levels due to the latitude we live in and the fact that we constantly being told to wear sunscreens which of course block sunlight. Small amounts of vitamin D is found in fortified foods including milk, cereals, oily fish and juices but this amount is too small to make any significant difference. In fact it is estimated that we would need to drink 20 glasses of milk everyday to maintain optimal levels of vitamin D! Read More…

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…