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Health

Strategies to Boost Levels of a Key Vitamin in Over Half the Population

Vitamin D is crucial for overall health, yet it remains deficient in a majority of the population. Forth, a provider of home blood tests, analyzed data from 1,400 customers across the UK to assess vitamin D levels. As summer approaches, Forth experts offer tips on natural ways to enhance your vitamin D levels.

The study found that 57% of people in the UK have vitamin D levels below the optimal range, defined as below 75 nmol/L. Men typically averaged higher levels (80.4 nmol/L) compared to women (77.2 nmol/L), who often hover just above the minimum threshold of 75 nmol/L. Interestingly, older adults, especially those over 60, showed the highest average levels (86.5 nmol/L), contrasting significantly with younger age groups like 18-29-year-olds.

Geographically, individuals in the West Midlands boasted the highest average vitamin D levels (83.3 nmol/L), whereas those in the North East recorded the lowest (64 nmol/L).

Dr. Thom Phillips, head of clinical services at Forth, highlighted the significance of vitamin D for immune function, noting its role in modulating immune responses and its impact on overall health. Deficiency has been linked to increased susceptibility to infections, autoimmune diseases, and other health issues. Additionally, vitamin D aids in regulating cell growth, promoting heart health, and facilitating calcium and phosphorus absorption in the intestines.

To improve vitamin D levels, individuals are advised to maintain a daily intake of 10 micrograms (400 IU) if levels are healthy. For those with low levels, a higher supplement dosage of approximately 4000 IU daily for three months can help elevate levels to a healthier range, followed by a maintenance phase with lower doses. Sunlight exposure, dietary adjustments (such as consuming oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks, and fortified cereals), and quality supplements are recommended strategies.

Dr. Phillips emphasized the importance of checking vitamin D levels through a blood test, such as Forth’s at-home, finger-prick test. This non-invasive method provides accurate insights into individual vitamin D needs, ensuring tailored supplementation and lifestyle adjustments.

Understanding and maintaining adequate vitamin D levels is crucial for overall health and well-being, especially considering the prevalent deficiency among the UK population.

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