Vitamin D deficiency
The role of Vitamin D in a healthy immune system came to re recognised during the Covid-19 pandemic. Here in the UK we have a marked seasonal variation in how much natural Vitamin D is produced naturally, and supplementation is recommended during the winter months. Our bodies create vitamin D naturally though the action of sunlight on our skin. However between October and March in the UK, and many other northern hemisphere countries, the sunlight is not strong enough to generate all the vitamin d that we require.
Risk factors for Vitamin D deficiency in summer
Often called the sunshine vitamin, vitamin d deficiency is less common in the UK population in the summer months. However vitamin D deficiency can occur in the summer in the UK population, due to inadequate sun exposure to the skin or due to darker skin pigmentation not allowing sufficient manufacture of vitamin d following sun exposure.
In the UK many individuals are prone to vitamin D linked deficiencies, as a result of either skin pigment or cultural and religious dress practice.
Vitamin D deficiency is also an issue for anyone who does not get outdoors often, including the frail and elderly, and those living in nursing or long stay residential care where sun exposure may be very limited even in summer. In this situation vitamin d supplementation should be considered.
The role of diet in Vitamin D deficiency
Diet also has a significant role to play in vitamin d levels as those eating a diet low in vitamin D may be more prone to deficiency also, even in the summer.
The following food groups are a good source of dietary vitamin d:
- Oily fish
- Eggs (the yolks)
- Red meat
- Food fortified with vitamin D (eg most plants milks, some margarines, some breakfast cereals)
In many countries cows milk is fortified with vitamin D, but this is not done currently in the UK.
What role do Vitamin D supplements have to play?
During autumn and winter in the UK it is difficult for most people to get all the vitamin D they need from sunshine and diet alone so it is worth considering taking a vitamin D supplement.
During the summer months it is probably not necessary for most people to take a supplement, unless they fall into one of the higher risk groups for vitamin D deficiency as discussed above.
Vitamin D test kits
The ALLTEST OVD-402 lateral flow rapid vitamin d test kits enable a remote and instant measurement of a person's current blood Vitamin D level, giving a clear indication if the individual is deficient in the vitamin without the need for a full hospital venous blood sample test,
OVD-402 is a 10 test pack of Vitamin d test kits intended for professional end use but the Vitamin D test kit is also available in a complete home vitamin d self test kit as a single test with a capillary blood lancet allowing finger prick sampling.
We currently have a special offer on vitamin d test kits in bulk packs of 10 for just £14.99