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Winter is coming…
Or so that locally made epic TV show would have us believe. It is not just the Stark’s saying it though, you can feel that slight nip in the air, the drop in light at around eight in the evening and that peculiarly fresh smell as September eases in. We’ll have to adjust, after all we did have a ‘proper’ summer…Yes indeed those balmy days, basking in sunshine. Lasted for a week or two didn’t it? A short summer for some, but superb for Northern Ireland, when you think of the endless rainfall and heart breaking floods of previous years. As well as lifting our spirits, getting us outdoors and active the good weather has had a positive impact on our bodies…our Vitamin D levels have increased!
What’s the big Vitamin D-eal?
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and teeth because it regulates the body’s absorption of nutrients like calcium. It is made in our skin through exposure to sunlight.
In their cutting edge laboratories in County Antrim, scientists at Randox Health have been scoping blood samples to see what effect the longer days and increased sunshine have had on a population notoriously deficient in this crucial nutrient.
“The news is good”, says Dr Fitzgerald Managing Director of Randox Health, “As part of our unique health checks, we test blood for nutritional deficiencies and have been monitoring levels of Vitamin D in our clients throughout the year. In January, 89% percent of people we tested, had insufficient levels of Vitamin D, by March this had fallen to 68%, by the end of June, this had decreased further to 41%…It goes to show what a little sunshine can do!”
(Article Continued from Magazine)
Low D for the deskbound
Despite the welcome warmth, Randox Health is still finding that many of its clients, particularly office staff and others who work indoors, remain deficient in Vitamin D, unfortunately they’ve not been able to take advantage of the sun to top up their levels.
Low levels can also be due to poor diet or may be related to various underlying medical conditions. These include kidney issues, various bone disorders such as rickets or osteomalacia and gut problems which may result in malabsorption. Low levels of Vitamin D have also been linked with tiredness and fatigue, aches and pains and other long term conditions.
If you are concerned, Randox Health can easily test your levels of Vitamin D, along with other key nutrients in the body. Proactive testing is important because, often there may be no symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency. Given the serious associations and the ease of treatment, it makes sense to check the levels by a simple blood test.
Deficiency is easily prevented or treated by getting more sunlight – doing this safely of course – and by eating more Vitamin D rich foods (such as egg yolks and oily fish, like mackerel) – all in moderation! The main way of replenishing low levels however is by taking a regular Vitamin D supplement.
We are usually blessed with a last blast of decent weather in September, so enjoy it while it lasts…as I’ve said, Winter is coming…and that’s a whole other kettle of oily fish.
Tweet Dr Gary for more information @RandoxHealthDoc
VISIT RANDOX HEALTH TODAY…
Ulster Life eZine issue 41 September 2013 Next Post:
Randox Laboratories celebrating another year of success.