Sunny SA may not be enough; supplement with vitamin D – study

 March 2016

One in five SA children is vitamin D deficient despite sufficient exposure to sunlight, a study shows.


The study by a host of African and Middle Eastern academics, published in the South African Medical Journal, proposes new ways to address deficiency, including supplementing with vitamin D.


“Despite significant daily sunlight…persons living in (Africa)…are frequently vitamin D insufficient or deficient. Risk factors include traditional dress and avoidance of sunlight exposure, and multiple dietary factors…Should such factors not be correctable, new strategies for supplementation or food fortification will have to be devised.”


Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a host of health conditions including autoimmune and bone disorders, depression, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Sufficient levels may also fight infections like colds and flu. Researchers estimate that at least 50% of the general population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency.


SA Nutritional consultant, Vanessa Ascencao, suggests the following in addition to direct sunlight on exposed skin for at least 20 minutes a day and increasing intake of foods rich in vitamin D:

  • Increase intake of fruits and vegetables rich in anti-oxidants – at least seven to nine servings a day.
  • Eat food good for the liver such as garlic, onions, broccoli, cabbage, kale and turmeric.
  • Eat immune boosting foods like reishi, shiitake and maitake mushrooms.
  • Try Salvestrols – a compound found in plants that targets diseased cells. See here.
  • Lower inflammation by reducing intake of saturated fats and increasing the intake of omega 3 fats such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, nuts and seeds.
  • Invest in organic foods to minimize exposure to pesticides and avoid processed meats and burned or browned food. Eat raw foods by steaming or boiling.
  • Increase intake of fish and reduce intake of dairy and meat.
  • Get sufficient sleep and increase vitamin D levels by using BetterYou DLux oral spray. Research by Cardiff University, on vitamin D supplementation, found that absorption from vitamin sprays was far superior via the rich system of veins in the inner cheek and under the tongue than tablets or capsules (see here).


“A body with optimum vitamin D will be stronger, more flexible and better able to resist disease and infection,” said Ascencao. “In addition, multiple clinical trials have found that BetterYou’s oral vitamin sprays elevate serum vitamin D levels on average 50% faster than traditional tablets and capsules.”


BetterYou DLux Oral Spray is available at leading health stores, pharmacies and Dis-Chem. It is suitable for vegetarians, vegans and is safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.


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