Bring us sunshine! Nine out of ten of Brits are deficient in vitamin D (and it's not even winter yet!)
Vitamin D, dubbed the sunshine vitamin, is generated by sunlightOver 70% of people in the UK spend most of their day indoorsDeficiency can cause rickets, migraines, depression and joint pain
16:24 GMT, 15 October 2012
Feeling sniffly A bit down in the dumps Low on energy If so, you could be suffering from a deficiency from the sunshine vitamin – vitamin D.
New figures have revealed the true extent of what the UK's so-called vitamin D deficiency 'epidemic', with one in nine people classed as 'deficient' and two thirds as 'severely lacking'.
A deficiency in vitamin D, 90 per cent of which is generated by sunlight, can cause depression, migraines, joint pain and low energy levels
Vitamin D is generated by sunlight (90 per cent) and diet (10 per cent).
But the survey by BetterYou found that 77 per cent of adults spend most of their
day indoors in office jobs, seldom seeing the sunshine.
Vitamin D boosts the immune system, and without sufficient intake, the body's cells are not able to react and fight off serious
infections in the body.
Common medical conditions associated with vitamin D
deficiency include fatigue, bone pain, muscle pain, joint pain, migraines, skin pigmentation problems and even rickets.
Many people with a vitamin D deficiency develop Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and become depressed.
National Vitamin D Awareness Week, which begins on 28 October, aims to raise public understanding of the dangers of developing the deficiency through lack of sunlight
Over 70 per cent of people questioned in the survey for BetterYou said they spend most of their day indoors, a factor which can contribute to a deficiency in Vitamin D
Almost half of those surveyed also said
they regularly suffer with low energy levels, and 40 per
cent experienced regular aches and pains in their bones and joints. Both
are key symptoms of deficiency.
The findings, announced ahead of a National
Vitamin D Awareness Week, suggest a massive proportion of the UK population are at risk
of these debilitating symptoms.
Office lifestyles have contributed to the British vitamin D epidemic, with people spending less time in the sunshine than ever before
those diagnosed as severely deficient, 71 per cent do not
take any form of supplement – highlighting a clear link between
deficiency and supplementation.
The findings come from a survey
by health pioneers BetterYou, who are supporting National Vitamin D
Awareness Week, which aims to raise public understanding of the dangers
Andrew Thomas, founder and managing director at
BetterYou, said: 'Our findings further confirm what we have long
suspected, that our nation is far more deficient in vitamin D than we
would care to admit.
'Almost ninety per cent of people
interviewed provided either classic symptoms of advanced vitamin D
deficiency or listed multiple lifestyle conditions which would
predispose them to be deficient.
'These include a combination of having
darker skin pigmentation, spending daylight hours indoors and excessive
use of UV sun cream.
'These findings simply reinforce our support
of the UK's first National Vitamin D Awareness Week.
The subject has
been discussed in the House of Commons, leading to “at risk” groups
being identified and supplementation recommendations made by our
Department of Health.
'The awareness week is the natural next step to
raise understanding with the general public.'
Earlier this year the
Chief Medical Officer for England, Dame Sally Davies announced her
concerns to health professionals regarding a rise in vitamin D-related
conditions, asking them to consider vitamin D supplementation for at
risk groups, including pregnant mothers.
Following this, it was
announced by Labour MP Kate Green in September, that cases of rickets
have increased more than 400 per cent since 1996.
SPOTTING THE SYMPTOMS OF A VITAMIN D DEFICIENCYWeak immune system, including frequent coughs and colds.Fatigue, bone ache, joint and muscle painSAD or depressionHeadaches and migrainesRickets
TIPS FOR COMBATTING A VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY THIS WINTER
DLux range of daily vitamin D oral spraysEat oily fish and take cod liver oilOn holiday, apply sunscreen only after
you've soaked up 10-15 minutes of raysUse sunlamps and full spectrum lights to produce vitamin D and combat SAD
Vitamin D Awareness Week runs from Monday 29 October to Sunday 4