Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for humans - it helps support the normal function of the immune system and aids the absorption of calcium in the body, contributing to strong bones, teeth and muscles. A lack of vitamin D can cause osteoporosis, rickets and cardiovascular problems.
During the summer, the sun is strong enough to allow us to make our own vitamin D. In the colder months, however, most of the Northern Hemisphere doesn't receive enough UVB rays from the sun in order for the skin to make vitamin D, so we have to get it from our diets. You can find vitamin D in oily fish and in small amounts in eggs and dairy products, however, this is often not enough and more than half of adults in Britain are deficient in this vitamin. This is why the UK government advisory groups Public Health England and the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition have recommended that ALL adults, children and babies take a vitamin D supplement daily throughout the autumn and winter months.
People who should take a vitamin D supplement all the time, regardless of the season, include pregnant and breastfeeding women, young children, vegans, the elderly, people who have darker skin or keep their skin covered, office workers and anyone with little exposure to the sun during the summer, as these are the most at risk of deficiency.
Following the government's recommendations, VEGA Nutritionals are working to spread the word about the need for vitamin D to the general population and have produced a new range of vitamin D3 supplements designed to be taken by the whole family. The supplements are vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free and suitable for both adults and children.
VEGA was established over 20 years ago and is a brand I trust - they are well established and use clinical evidence to support the effectiveness of their products. I was thinking about buying a vitamin D supplement to take during the autumn and winter anyway, so when I heard about VEGA's new range and was offered the chance to try it in exchange for a review, I was excited.
I received one bottle of Everyday D; chewable tablets suitable for adults and children over the age of four, and one bottle of Urgent D; a high strength, hyper-absorbable spray which provides an intensive dose for adults wishing to supplement at a higher level.
The tablets are blackcurrant flavoured and taste really nice - it wouldn't be a struggle to get your kids to eat them. They provide 400IU of vitamin D3, which is the current recommended daily amount (although some professionals say you should have more than this) and are very reasonably priced - a bottle of 500 tablets costs just £5.95.
The spray is mint flavoured and provides 2000IU of vitamin D3 per spray - this is equivalent to four hours of exposure to the sun during the winter (and who wants to be outside in the cold for four hours in the middle of January?). The spray is only for adults as the dosage is too high and too concentrated for young children, and would be good for anyone who already knows they're deficient and needs to top up their vitamin D levels relatively quickly. As it's a small bottle it's handy for carrying around with you and provides 100 servings (sprays) for just £7.95.
VEGA also sell a vitamin D supplement for babies - flavourless drops called Infant D which you can add to cold drink or yoghurt and provide 400IU of D3 for £6.95.
You can buy the new range, as well as VEGA's other supplements, directly from their website as well as leading pharmacies and health food stores throughout the UK.
Do you take any supplements? Let me know in the comments!
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