Posts Tagged ‘vitamin’

Can Sunscreen Cause Rickets?

When I was very young all school children in the UK would get a free carton of milk everyday to prevent rickets. Then Margaret Thatcher came along and put an end to it. People used to think that rickets was a thing of the past however some are seeing a great increase in diseases like this directly linked to vitamin D deficiency.

What causes vitamin D deficiency?  If you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables along with taking a daily multivitamin, having a vitamin deficiency probably wouldn’t even cross your mind. However, a staggering number of people over the last several years have been diagnosed with just that.

Understanding Vitamin D

The human body receives vitamins mostly from food. But in the case of vitamin D, it is also produced in the body by sun exposure.

Vitamin D’s job is to help maintain the level of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. It also aids in the absorption of calcium.

Concerns of a Vitamin D Deficiency

Over the last several years there has been a great increase in vitamin D deficiency. This has lead scientists to research what importance this vitamin plays in the body and what a lack of it can do.

Cancers, high blood pressure, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and arthritis are some of the illnesses believed to be caused, in part, by a lack of vitamin D.

Why the Increase in Deficiencies?

It is believed that more people now are suffering from this because we are not exposing our skin to the sun as we once did. With the increased fear of skin cancer, more and more people are covering up when spending time outdoors. Sunscreens also block out the UV rays needed.

There are also large communities of people from Asia and Africa who are now living in colder climates which makes it more difficult for them to obtain enough sunlight.

Beauty experts are also recommending that we use moisturiser and makeup with a UV filter – even in the winter. This may be fine if you live near the equator but if you live in the UK like me then you’re probably putting yourself at risk of rickets.

Another reason is that people are just spending more time indoors. From home to work and the computer in the car, people are just not getting out in the sun.

People are struggling to ingest enough vitamins to make up the difference plus you have to consciously be aware of what foods contain vitamin D.

glass of milkPrevention

Taking a multivitamin is a good place to start since they are designed to have all the nutrients we need. Increasing your fatty fish consumption is another along with drinking milk which is fortified with Vitamin D. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach along with almonds, garlic, chives and oats are good dietary sources.

Get outside. Our skin needs the sun to produce the vitamin D we need. It’s also very important to take the proper measures to prevent skin cancer. Since our preventive measures are in part reducing our sun exposure and disabling our bodies from producing the necessary vitamin, finding a balance may be difficult.

I understand the need for sun, the problem is that I have very pale skin and so burn very easily. At the weekend I was out in the sun from 4:30pm to about 5:15pm and got burnt on my shoulders.

Life’s never straight forward!

Are There Any Reasons to Take a Multi-Vitamin?

Why is it that obtaining optimum health is so confusing? Everyday you’ll read conflicting information about all sorts of health products and diets. The same goes for vitamins. It’s fairly safe to say that a daily multi-vitamin will help prevent symptoms of vitamin or mineral deficiencies.

With so many tasks to fit into every day life, it can be difficult to make sure that our diet is full of all the nutrients necessary to our health. Also, the thought of preparing a meal from scratch after a hard day’s work means that many people eat out at restaurants and fast food outlets instead. While convenient, the truth is that people are losing control of what they eat. Restaurant food offers portion sizes that are often double and even triple what they should be. Preparation methods generally involve using artery-clogging oils, and other saturated fats.

But eating out isn’t the only problem. Stress wreaks havoc on the body, and often works to diminish whatever nutritional value people are getting from their food. It’s difficult to escape stress, and eating on the run, and eating at odd times during the day. Plus, be honest, just how often do you skip meals because you’re just “too busy”?

Nutritionally-void foods, stress, insufficient exercise, and generally poor eating habits spell disaster when it comes to eating a balanced diet. Yet these are the very reasons why so many people are choosing to supplement their diets with multivitamins.

If the above scenario sounds like the way you live your life, there’s a good chance you’ll benefit from a daily multivitamin supplement. It’s usually not necessary to first consult with a doctor. If your health overall is good, and you’re not taking any medication, a multivitamin that meets recommended daily allowances will be sufficient.

What Happens to Excess Vitamins?

In general, over-supplementation isn’t much of a problem with water-soluble vitamins such as B and C. If your body experiences too much of these vitamins then they will be passed via your urine. It’s still a good idea to check what the symptoms of over-supplementation are, for instance vitamin C can cause diarrhea.  Just look at these diarrhea statistics.

Fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A and D, are different in that the body will store excess amounts. But still, even at levels that are slightly higher than the recommended daily allowances, there shouldn’t be any adverse effects. Excessive consumption however is not advisable and may even trigger health complications.

Vitamins Are Found in Many Foods Already

As with many things in life, when taking a multivitamin supplement, moderation is key. Please be aware that a lot of the food you are eating already is probably supplemented with vitamins, cereals and orange juice for instance. As always, contact a doctor or nutritionist if you are at all unsure.

Once you have decided that a multivitamin supplement makes sense, the only thing left to do is go out and buy some. Multivitamin supplements are available in tablet or pill form and liquid form. I’ve also bought it in powder form which you’re supposed to mix in with a drink, unfortunately it made me want to GAG! With so many brands available, you may want to take time to read the labels or look for a familiar manufacturer. Select the form you’re more likely to take on a regular basis and you’ll be one step closer to having a healthy body!