Sunshine

A campaign to banish the buts…

The second annual National Vitamin D Awareness Week starts on the 21st October, the last week of British Summer Time.

The campaign aims to raise our understanding of this vital vitamin and remind us that, living in the Northern Hemisphere, insufficient supply affects us all.

Andrew Thomas, founder and managing director of awareness week supporters BetterYou, said: “Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most important lifestyle problems facing us today; people need access to the right information in order to take action.

“There are so many misconceptions surrounding vitamin D. ‘But I eat well,’ ‘but I am often outdoors’, ‘but I wasn’t told I needed vitamin D’. This campaign seeks to change those attitudes through high impact visuals and honest debate, setting a new agenda for how we think about vitamin D in this country.”

Our current knowledge…

BetterYou surveyed almost 600 members of the public asking questions about our vitamin D knowledge. What they found may surprise you, but it does highlight the importance of such initiatives.

The vast majority of those surveyed were not aware that only 10% of the vitamin D we need comes from our diet and that exposure to sunlight was our main source. If we do manage to get out into the sun the survey showed that the likelihood is that we only expose 10% of our body or we use suncream before entering the sun – both of which impede or completely block our ability to natural synthesise the vital vitamin.

Recognition of at-risk groups for deficiency was also worryingly low. Of those asked 90% of mums were not advised to take vitamin D during pregnancy and many of those questioned did not realise they were an at risk group. Other at risk groups that remain relatively unknown are under 5’s and those over 65.

Research linking vitamin D with numerous health conditions fills the news on an almost daily basis. The survey highlighted where vitamin D may be able to help those who are struggling to find an answer.

Over 70% of those suffering from regular headaches and migraines reported spending less than 2 hours outdoors on a daily basis.

Vitamin D is crucial for a strong immune system and those who slather on the sun cream also suffer with the most coughs and colds.

The most common problem for over 65’s was aches and pains with the majority of this group only exposing 10% of their body when in direct sunlight.

Energy and mood is something everyone feels they need more of yet again the vast majority of people seek shade or cover up when the sun is at its optimum levels for natural synthesising vitamin D.

Debunking The Misconceptions

Together we can help raise awareness of this crucial campaign and banish the buts! This year’s key messages are:

But I have a healthy diet
You’d still need to drink 80 glasses of milk a day to maintain a healthy level of vitamin D. Banish the buts…only 10% of our essential vitamin D comes from our diet.

But I’m often outdoors
The UK is one of the cloudiest countries in the industrialised world.
Banish the buts…cloud cover and low sun dramatically reduce our ability to produce vitamin D.

But I wasn’t told I needed vitamin D
90% of mums have not been advised about the importance of vitamin D.*
Banish the buts…the Department of Health identify those pregnant and breastfeeding as ‘at risk’ groups requiring supplementation.

You can view some of the Vitamin D/D3 products available here.

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