Vitamin D is one of the most common deficiencies. It is estimated that 1 billion people globally have Vitamin D deficiency and 50% of the global population have Vitamin D insufficiency. It is estimated that about 90% of our Vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight whilst a small proportion comes from our diet. Individuals with darker skin have increased amounts of melanin in their skin which decreases the efficacy of Vitamin D absorption which is why people with darker skin are at greater risk, particularly in the UK where from October to March, the rays from the sun are not strong enough to enable our bodies to make vitamin D. This is one of the reasons that the Department of Health and the NHS now recommend that everyone in the UK should consider taking a vitamin D supplement from October to March. The elderly, overweight and those living in the Northern Hemisphere are also at greater risk. A 2017 study additionally revealed that shift workers, health care workers and indoor workers are at increased risk of developing a deficiency due to reduced outdoor time and sunlight exposure. Apart from this, malabsorption syndromes such as celiac disease, short bowel syndrome, gastric bypass and cystic fibrosis may also lead to Vitamin D deficiency. Medications such as phenobarbital, carbamazepine, dexamethasone, nifedipine, spironolactone, clotrimazole, and rifampin induce hepatic p450 enzymes which speed up the degradation of vitamin D.
Why do we need Vitamin D?
Vitamin D's primary and vital function in the body is to maintain blood levels of calcium. It does this through increasing the amount of calcium absorbed from food in the small intestine. This helps the body to form and maintain healthy bones. A deficiency in vitamin D can lead to osteomalacia or rickets. A deficiency of vitamin D also increases the risk of developing osteoporosis and experiencing fractures and broken bones. Apart from this, vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with increased risks of cancer development, particularly breast, colon and prostate cancers. Researchers have found that increased sunlight exposure and circulating vitamin D are associated with reduced occurrence and mortality in many types of cancer. Vitamin D is well known for its impact on the immune system and studies suggest that inflammation is often at the root of many modern autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, digestive disorders and high blood pressure. University of Aberdeen researchers studied patients in the North of Scotland which has the highest rate of MS in the UK who were treated during the winter with UV-B light therapy. Dr Anthony Ormerod, Clinical Reader in Dermatology at the University, said: “Our study shows that UV-B light, which mimics sunshine, can have a striking effect on the immune system of patients."
In addition, a study in 2018 from Trinity College Dublin linked vitamin D deficiency with an increased risk of depression of over 75% over a four year follow up period.
What are the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency?
There is evidence to suggest that people with vitamin D deficiency are at increased risk of developing health conditions such as osteoporosis, autoimmune conditions, depression and cancer. Symptoms can also include weakness, chronic fatigue, depression, insomnia, anxiety, weakened immune system, inflammation and weak or broken bones. We would recommend that you are tested for vitamin D deficiency if you experience any of these symptoms. Vitamin D tests are available on the NHS and in our Nourishing Insights clinic. This is a simple pin prick blood test which can be done at home. Find out more about Vitamin D testing and order here.
How can I optimise my vitamin D levels?
The main way in which we obtain vitamin D is from exposure to natural sunlight from the sun. When UVB rays land on the skin, a substance in the skin, 7-dehydrocholestrol is converted into vitamin D3. There are two types of supplemental vitamin D; Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3. The type of vitamin D our bodies makes naturally is vitamin D3. Whilst the body is able to convert some D2 for use, vitamin D3 is believed to convert 500 times faster than D2 and is estimated to be four times more effective in humans. Most experts suggest spending 20 minutes in the sun without suncream (suncream blocks the absorption of vitamin D) to enable your body to absorb vitamin D naturally without damaging the skin. For darker skinned people, the time recommended increases to around 40 minutes. If you do not want to expose your skin to the sun, you should use a good quality supplement to make sure you are obtaining enough vitamin D to protect your immune system, bones, joints and general health.
Are there any food sources?
Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D and it is difficult to obtain vitamin D only from food. However, there are some food sources and research suggests that eating foods which are rich in Vitamin D can help you acquire more. Some of the best sources of vitamin D in foods are halibut, mackerel, salmon, herring, trout and eggs. Mushrooms are one of the only plant sources of vitamin D and they acquire vitamin D the same way the human skin does, through exposure to the sun. The vitamin D content of mushrooms is increased through exposure to Ultra Violet light. The quantity of vitamin D in mushrooms can vary dependant on how they are grown.
Who should supplement and how much should I take?
Current Department of Health recommendations suggest the following ‘at risk’ groups should be using a vitamin D supplement all year round. These include:
From October to March the Department for Health recommends that everyone should supplement with Vitamin D. However, bare in mind that many of us now are spending little time in the sun and when we are we are wearing sun creams or covering up. Even in hot countries where people are going from air conditioned homes to offices and malls with little exposure to sunshine has led to a global epidemic with deficiency. For example, in countries such as Pakistan it is estimated that 80% of the population is deficient. In addition, it is estimated that vitamin D has a half life of about 15 days which would mean that every 2 weeks our levels halve without ongoing exposure to sunshine or supplementation. Therefore, your holiday in the sun in February is not going to help you in April.
Dosages vary according to age, bodyweight and level of deficiency. Testing is recommended to optimise your dose.
Are there other nutrient considerations when supplementing with Vitamin D?
Vitamin D and K2
Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 work synergistically with each other to ensure that calcium is directed out of the arteries and into the bones where it helps improve bone density.
Without enough vitamin K2 calcification within the arteries can occur. We normally advise a combination product of D and K2 for the post-menopausal age group.
Vitamin D and Magnesium
Magnesium plays a key role in determining how much vitamin D our bodies can make. It’s suggested that people whose magnesium intake is high are less likely to have a vitamin D insufficiency than people whose magnesium levels are low.
It’s also claimed that magnesium supplementation increases vitamin D levels in people who are deficient in the vitamin, but causes a reduction in people whose intake is high. Too much vitamin D can increase calcium levels, which in turn can lead to certain health complications.
To learn more about magnesium and signs of deficiency, have a look at our blog.
To find out more about Vitamin D supplementation contact us here, or come and visit us at 44 St Andrew Street Aberdeen. Nutritional Therapy consultations are also available on Zoom and skype. More information here.
DLUX Better You Vitamin D and K2
BetterYou™ DLux+ Vitamin D+K2 Oral Spray is an optimum strength spray delivering 3000iu of vitamin D alongside 75μg of vitamin K2 per dose (3 sprays).
The pioneering delivery method allows the vitamin D and K to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream, via the inner cheek, bypassing the digestive system where many nutrients may be lost.
Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 work synergistically with each other to ensure that calcium is directed out of the arteries and into the bones where it helps improve bone density.
Without enough vitamin K2 calcification within the arteries can occur, increasing the risk of heart disease.
BetterYou have sourced a bioavailable and stable form of K2 MK-7 which can be easily utilised by the body. The form of K2 has been derived from flowers and we can guarantee purity of the active form of K2.
Vitamin D Testing Service
We’re proud to work in collaboration with Sandwell and West Birmingham trust to offer you a complete vitamin D testing service which can be completed from the comfort of your own home.
Usage - Single use
Biomarkers Tested - 25-hydroxyvitamin D (Stored vitamin D)
Testing Method -Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry
Better You DLUX 1000 Vegan
BetterYou DLux 1000 Vegan Vitamin D Oral Spray is a pure and simple formulation using Vitamin D3V®, a 100% plant-origin vitamin D3, designed to maintain vitamin D levels.
Initial use: press the pump 3 times to get the liquid flowing.
Shake well before every use. Carefully spray into your mouth, ideally onto the inside of your cheek, and hold for a few seconds.
Replace the cap after use.
1 spray delivers 1000IU of plant-based vitamin D.
Coconut oil, cholecalciferol (vitamin D3)
BetterYou™ DLux3000 is an optimum strength daily oral vitamin D spray. Specially formulated to deliver vitamin D directly into the bloodstream bypassing the digestive system.
BetterYouTM MagnesiumGel provides essential magnesium in a targeted application. A superior way to replenish magnesium levels, as well as a support for skin health and natural muscle repair.
BetterYouTM MagnesiumGel provides a slower release of magnesium for sustained delivery, making it ideal for use during exercise and targeted application.
1ml of gel delivers a minimum of 100mg of optimally absorbable elemental magnesium, with a teaspoon providing 500mg.
BetterYouTM MagnesiumOil Sprays are made with the strongest and purest MagnesiumOil and provides the ultimate way to replenish magnesium levels. Scientifically proven to raise magnesium levels faster than traditional tablets and capsules.
Magnesium Bone Lotion
BetterYou™ Magnesium Bone Lotion supports bone health with the combination of magnesium and calcium, expertly formulated at an optimal 1:1 ratio and blended with a hydrating lotion to create a unique way to supplement these two essential nutrients.
An effective alternative to tablets and capsules, providing exceptional support for bone and skin health.
5ml (4 pumps) of Magnesium Bone Lotion delivers a minimum of 75mg of magnesium and 75mg of calcium.
Guaranteed free from
Megamag Calmeze Orange Magnesium Formula
MegaMag® Calmeze has been formulated to support normal psychological function, a healthy nervous system and to reduce tiredness & fatigue by providing a high strength combination of magnesium, B vitamins, L-theanine, glycine, taurine, glutamine and vitamin C. It is supplied in a tasty orange flavour powder which easily mixes with water or juice.
With many more of us living very busy lives, Megamag® Calmeze can help to support that sense of calm and harmony.
MegaMag® Calmeze delivers 200mg of magnesium in the glycinate form per dose. Magnesium glycinate has been shown in studies to have superior absorption when compared to other forms of magnesium. It’s generally well-tolerated and especially suited to those with sensitive digestive systems.
Magnesium is a very important mineral, involved in literally hundreds of reactions in the body. It is known as “nature’s tranquiliser”, as it has a calming effect on muscles and nerves, but it’s also necessary for energy production too.
MegaMag® Calmeze also contains a specific B vitamin combination that includes vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6. The B vitamins are very important for the production of energy, as well as for psychological function. Some also help reduce tiredness and fatigue.
Vitamin C is present in a mineral ascorbate form. The health benefits of vitamin C are many, and include energy production, reducing tiredness and fatigue, as well as supporting the nervous system.
MegaMag® Calmeze contains the amino acids theanine, taurine, glycine and glutamine. With the formula being in powdered form, we’re able to provide therapeutic levels of amino acids that would be difficult to achieve in tablet or capsule forms.
nutri advanced Magnesium Glycinate
High strength magnesium in a well absorbed form designed to support muscle function, the nervous system, energy production, bones and teeth.
What does Magnesium do?
Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for life, and is found in every cell type in every organism. It is needed for hundreds of reactions within the body, including helping with energy production, reduction of tiredness, maintenance of normal muscle function, and keeping your bones and teeth healthy.
Why choose our Magnesium?
Magnesium as glycinate is a superior, highly absorbable form of magnesium, that is well tolerated especially by those with sensitive digestive systems. Provides 100mg of magnesium per tablet.
Who is it suitable for?
Anyone who wishes to take extra magnesium in a high quality, gentle and effective form. Poor soil and processing methods can mean that even those eating a balanced diet might not be getting as much magnesium as they need.
Megamag Muscleze Magnesium Formula
MegaMag Muscleze (formally Ultra Muscleze) is a high strength magnesium powder designed to support muscle function and recovery following exercise, It has a tasty orange flavour and mixes easily into water or juice.
One scoop of MegaMag Muscleze delivers 240mg of magnesium in superior, highly absorbable forms that are gentle on the stomach - bisglycinate and malate. The formula also contains malic acid, amino acids - l-carnitine, creatine, glutamine and taurine – and B vitamins including the body-ready, active forms of vitamin B12 and folate(vitamin B9).
Why is Magnesium important? - Magnesium is an essential mineral needed for many body functions. It is the second most abundant nutrient in the body and has many important roles including the support of muscle function, converting food to energy, reducing tiredness and fatigue, the normal functioning of the nervous system and contributing to electrolyte balance.
Why include amino acids and B vitamins? - In order for magnesium to be able to play its part in many of its functions, it needs taurine, glutamine, carnitine and B vitamins to be present. These are all co-factors of magnesium and are needed to support the actions of magnesium within the body.
How does MegaMag Muscleze support muscles and post-exercise recovery? - One scoop provides 672mg of malic acid and 240mg of magnesium. Malic Acid plays a very important role in energy production within each cell. Magnesium supports healthy muscle function, reduces tiredness and fatigue and supports energy-yielding metabolism. Magnesium also helps balance electrolytes which is essential for normal muscle contraction. An imbalance in electrolytes can result in cramps. The formula also contains B vitamins which also reduce fatigue and supports the body converting food to energy.
Who should take Magnesium? - Those who require support for muscle function, tiredness and fatigue and nervous system function may benefit from magnesium.Magnesium can be found in foods including green leafy vegetables, nut, seeds and whole grains. However modern farming methods have sadly meant a decline in the level of magnesium present in these foods.
Why should I take MegaMag Muscleze? - MegaMag Muscleze provides high levels of easy-to-absorb magnesium and is gentle on the stomach. The formula provides a range of other vitamins and amino acids to support the role of magnesium including the body-ready active forms of vitamin B12 and folate (vitamin B9).
Magnesium Citrate - 90 Capsules
Magnesium contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue
Magnesium contributes to electrolyte balance
Magnesium contributes to normal functioning of the nervous system
Magnesium contributes to normal muscle function
Magnesium contributes to normal protein synthesis
Magnesium contributes to normal psychological function
Magnesium contributes to the maintenance of normal bones and teeth
Magnesium has a role in the process of cell division
Magnesium Citrate is easily absorbed and used by the body.
Recommended IntakeOne capsule taken 3 times daily with food, or as professionally directed.
Product Information per Daily IntakeIngredientAmountProviding% EC NRVMagnesium300mg
Ingerdients: Magnesium Citrate, Capsule Shell (HPMC), Anti-Caking Agents (Magnesium Stearate & Silicon Dioxide).
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44 St Andrew Street, Aberdeen, AB25 1JA
Tel: 01224 969637
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Late night appointments available on Thursday evening on request.