Boost your Vitamin D Levels this Winter

Boost your Vitamin D levels this Winter

What is Vitamin D?

The vitamin D found in your body is actually classified as a hormone. This is due to the fact that your body converts the vitamin D it receives from food, supplements or from sunlight into a hormone called calcitriol (activated vitamin D, or D3).

Vitamin D is fat-soluble vitamin that supports the intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium, phosphate, iron, and zinc.

Why do you need Vitamin D?

It forms part of one your essential vitamins, which means that your body needs it to function properly. Your body can produce about 90% of the amount you need from sunlight and the other 10% from foods containing higher amounts of the vitamin.

Studies have demonstrated that Vitamin D has an effect on diseases other than rickets, such as Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis and Depression.

Why do you need to boost your Vitamin D levels in the Winter?

The sheer lack of sunlight means weak UV light. This puts at risk of approximately 90% of your vitamin D source so to make up for it, taking vitamin D supplements is a good idea of topping up your levels of Vitamin D.

What does my body do with Vitamin D?

We need this vitamin for the absorption of calcium and phosphate in our bodies. These minerals are used to maintain the strength of our bones, teeth and muscles. Also, it helps to regulate the immune system and evidence shows that it can even lower your risk of infections such as colds, flu and chest infections.

Is Vitamin D in my food enough?

Vitamin D is found in foods such as liver, eggs, and oily fish contain higher levels of Vitamin D, however these amounts are minimal and need to be taken in conjunction with other sources.

There is a high variety of different food sources containing Vitamin D here are some common examples:

• Cod liver oil

• Beef liver

• Egg yolks

• Margarine spreads

• Spinach

• Soy beans

• Different types of fishes such as trout, tuna, mackerel, salmon

• Calcium and dairy foods/drinks such as cheese, soya milk, orange juice, yoghurt

• Cereals such as corn flakes, weetabix, bran flakes

• Fruits such as mangoes, peaches, apricots, avocado

• Vegetables such as mushrooms, peppers, broccoli

Be sure to check the labels of the packets and cans of food you buy for their Vitamin D content.

What happens if I don’t get enough Vitamin D?

You are more susceptible to disorders such as rickets and osteomalacia, where your bones are weak and brittle, so they are more easily broken and fractured.

In the UK, research showed that more than half of the adult population have insufficient levels of vitamin D and that 16% have deficient levels during the winter.

What is the recommended intake of Vitamin D?

The most common recommendation for anyone who may be vitamin D deficient is 400 IU (10 micrograms).

Why Fultium Daily?

Fultium Daily D3 is an easy one-a-day vitamin D supplement. Unlike other vitamins, Fultium Daily D3 is only available from your pharmacist, not in the vitamin aisle.

Fultium Daily D3 capsules contain 10 micrograms of vitamin D3 – exactly the daily dose recommended by the government’s guidelines.

Taking Fultium Daily D3 ensures that you and your family are getting the right amount of vitamin D every day.

Capsules or Liquid?

Fultium Daily D3 capsules

Easy to take one-a-day capsule. Free from artificial preservatives and sweeteners.

The capsule gelatin is Halal and Kosher certified.

Fultium Daily D3 Drops

Fultium daily D3 Drops are ideal for children under 12 years old.

They’re also suitable for vegetarians, and those who dislike swallowing capsules. They are free from artificial preservatives and sweeteners.

Infants under 1 year: 5 drops per day (8.5μg)

Age 1 and up: 6 drops per day (10μg)

Learn more about Fultium Daily

What goes wrong if you do not have enough Vitamin D?

Generally, you can’t tell if you have insufficient vitamin D, or if your bones are not as healthy as they should be. Symptoms only appear when your levels are very low or have been low for some time.

These could include:
• bone pain
• frequent bone fractures
• muscle weakness
• soft bones that may result in deformities
• unexplained fatigue

If you’re concerned that you may have insufficient levels of vitamin D, please speak to your pharmacist or GP.

Are there any other reasons why you are low in Vitamin D?

There are certain diseases that can cause a deficiency in Vitamin D. With kidneys and liver diseases, this reduces the formation of enzymes needed to change the essential vitamin to a form that the body can use.

Other reasons your body is not breaking it down correctly can be because of cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, gastric bypass surgery and obesity.

There are other factors, of course:

Age – as we age, the skin’s process of manufacturing vitamin D becomes much less efficient, so the elderly have more chance of being deficient.
Mobility – if you do not get out much due to decreased mobility, there is not much chance of soaking up UV light from the sun.
Skin colour – fairer skin tends to produce more vitamin D than darker skin tones so the latter are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D.
Medications – certain drugs can also lower your levels of vitamin D – laxatives, steroids, drugs that lower your cholesterol, those that control seizures, rifampicin for tuberculosis and weight loss drug orlistat.
Contact with the sun would include direct sunlight when the sun is at its highest point of the day in summer, such as during midday.
It is rare to receive this kind of exposure in the UK outside of the summer months May to August, so it is important to maintain the levels of vitamin D in alternative ways such as through food.

Can I have too much Vitamin D?

It is best advised to only take the recommended amount per day. An excess of this vitamin can see you with nausea, vomiting, confusion, reduced appetite, weakness, weight loss, kidney damage, itching, increased thirst and urination, constipation, and abnormal heart rhythms.

Take action today

Eat some foods rich in Vitamin D, take supplements and when the sun comes out, take it in for 20 minutes.

Our commitment to supporting you and your family this winter is our Vitamin D service which includes treatment for a family of four for £5.99 a month. This includes 2 packs of 30 day Fultium Daily capsules and a Bottle of Fultium Daily drops.

Prepare for Winter

As well as our Vitamin D service our pharmacists and our teams are here to help you prepare this winter with our:

Flu Vaccination Service
Pneumonia Vaccination Service
Sore Throat Test & Treat Service
Echinacea Tablets to help manage the first symptoms of Cold & Flu

All with no appointment necessary

Call in to your local Dears Pharmacy for support and advice in our locations in Edinburgh & Fife.

To find out more or use this service...

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