So, this is Winter. Already horrific weather-wise for some and a severe lack of sunshine for most.
You’ve probably heard of Vitamin D being referred to as the sunshine vitamin, but, it’s so much more, and, with the help of Seven Seas, I’ll tell you a bit about those extras.
Firstly I was offered a blood test to determine my Vitamin D suffiency. I was sent a pack containing everything I needed to get a blood sample analysed. I’ve used these things before for food intolerance but there are full instructions if you’d like to get your own done. I’ll tell how later on.
My results arrived really quickly as an e-mailed PDF – as suspected I have insufficient Vitamin D levels but they’re not dreadful. In fact quite good if you read on…
There have been a few articles in the media recently about the latest studies in this vitamin and results found that as well as causing bone weakness (which is why I previously used to take it as a supplement with calcium when I was totally dairy free), a lack can also contribute to coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes. With a family history on both sides of heart attack (Dad) and strokes (maternal grandmother) this made me decide to continue supplementing my intake.
“Although vitamin D levels above 30 were traditionally considered to be normal, more recently, some researchers have proposed that anything above 15 was a safe level. But the numbers hadn’t been backed up with research until now,” said J. Brent Muhlestein, MD, co-director of cardiovascular research at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, and lead researcher of the study.
“Even if any level above 15 is safe, one out of 10 people still have vitamin D levels lower than that. This equates to a very large percentage of our population. The best way to determine one’s vitamin D level is by getting a blood test,” he said.
Of course you may be lucky enough to get your vitamin D from exposure to the sun – I’m not, being so pale, there are other risk factors at work plus usually being at work when the sun shows its face! In these Winter months it’s nigh on impossible to get any exposure, let alone enough!
According to dietician Helen Bond:
“During the winter months in London it is not possible for anyone to make Vitamin D from the sun – no matter what their skin type – but for dark and black skinned people even in summer they would need about two hours of exposure which is hard to achieve.” She adds, “There are just 4 foods which naturally contain Vitamin D: oily fish (like mackerel), eggs, mushrooms and cod liver oil.”
Aside from fish and mushrooms, none of the others are regulars in my diet any more so I was pleased that Seven Seas also sent me a bottle of one-a-day high strength cod liver oil capsules to be going on with . These have been shown to support heart health, muscle and bone health, and, immunity. All positives and I’m looking forward to seeing good results from these, now it’s part of my morning routine.
Seven Seas High Strength Cod Liver Oil is available from Boots, Superdrug, and, all usual outlets including Amazon 🙂
If you’re interested in getting your own levels checked have a quick look at the flyer below and then get in touch with the Vitamin D team, it’s less than £30.
My doctor had guessed I’d be lacking due to my dietary exclusions but I’m pleased I had this test done too as confirmation.
Do you use any supplements?
* I was sent a blood testing kit and a sample bottle of Seven Seas cod liver oil to help me with this article. Amazon link is affiliate.