Are you getting enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is essential for good health so I wanted to take this opportunity to write a blog about Vitamin D and how important it is for human beings to get the right amount in the right way. I also want to cover the best way to get Vitamin D too, however controversial it may be.

If you live in the UK I’m sure you understand that we cannot get enough Vitamin D in the winter time, generally between November and April. As you can tell this is a substantial time to go without any sun and can result in a Vitamin D deficiency. According to National Surveys in the UK 1 in 5 people have low Vitamin D levels. Low Vitamin D levels are associated with musculoskeletal health such as rickets, osteomalacia, falls and poor muscle strength.

Given that more than 1 billion people in the world are estimated to be Vitamin D deficient, we need to ensure governments are directing, funding and supporting departments and initiatives that recognise the health and resultant financial benefits of a responsible attitude to UV exposure.

After discovering such interesting statistics I wanted to find out more information about this topic. This is where The Sunbed Association came in handy with all their well-researched documents to hand. Below is some research carried out by a Professor of Medicine.

‘Considered by many to be the foremost authority on Vitamin D, Dr Michael Holick (Professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at the Boston University School of Medicine, one of the USA’s top universities), recommends a daily amount of 1,000 IU is necessary to maintain a healthy level. It is very difficult to eat enough Vitamin D rich foods on a daily basis to achieve these levels. Most multi-vitamin supplements only provide 400IU of Vitamin D.

Unprotected UV exposure to 25% of 1 MED, 2-3 times a week is recommended by Dr Holick to ensure sufficient Vitamin D levels. Depending on skin type, this is the equivalent of about 5 minutes of unprotected UV exposure 2-3 times a week.

In natural sunlight the word ‘unprotected’ is very important, as SPF creams reduce the ability of the body to produce Vitamin D from UV exposure by up to 97%.’

Three leading scientists, William B Grant, Cedric F Garland and Michael F Holick, have analysed data from published scientific reports, to estimate the economic costs of treating diseases that have resulted from insufficient exposure to UVB and Vitamin D.  They did the same for excess UV exposure and its associated diseases and costs.

The scientists concluded that 19-25,000 people in the UK die prematurely from cancer, each year, due to insufficient Vitamin D.  The figure was 50,000 – 63,000 per annum for the US.

The same study showed that in the US, the economic burden due to Vitamin D deficiency from inadequate exposure to UV, diet and supplements, was estimated at $40 – 56 billion in 2004.  Given the UK mortality figures above, a rough guestimate for the UK health burden would have to be in the region of £8 – £12 billion per annum.

By comparison, the economic burden for over-exposure to sunlight was estimated at the equivalent of £1 – £1.5 billion per annum.  Interestingly, the main monetary cost of too much exposure is not the treatment of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.  It is primarily spent on the treatment of cataracts.
I know what you’re thinking and that there is a lot of information to take in. But this doesn’t even cover half of the studies taken and proven about lack of Vitamin D. We are all guilty of believing what is written in the media but yet we don’t question if there is anything to prove what they are telling us. Food for thought…

Here at bbeauté we offer an EU regulated state of the art tanning bed. So come and get your first sunbed session and start to combat your Vitamin D deficiency.

You can read more interesting facts about Vitamin D on the Sunbed Association website here – https://www.sunbedassociation.org.uk/Vitamin_D/Vitamin_D_Facts.aspx