• Essential guide to getting enough vitamin D3

    By Alexandra Posted February 11, 2014
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    This guide provides information on the importance of vitamin D3 to our bodies. We look at the effects of a vitamin D3 deficiency and understand how we can help our bodies to get enough through diet and careful sun exposure.

    Please note that you should never let your skin become burnt or reddened during UV exposure.

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    The UK is well known for its rainy days but many people do not realise that a lack of sunshine can cause a vitamin D3 deficiency. Those living in parts of the country which tend to get less hours of sun, such as Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England, are particularly at risk of suffering from low levels of vitamin D3 in their bodies.

    ArticleBodySmallSunshine has been much maligned in the UK in recent years, after a sharp increase in the number of people suffering skin cancer. The ‘sun safe’ message has been heeded closely by many with sun lotions applied regularly on children and adults on sunny days and a wide recognition that it is important to stay in the shade or cover up during the hottest hours of the day. It remains important to apply sun lotion regularly and liberally during the hottest hours of the day. Please see our advice on how to apply sun lotion.

    Of course this advice is important to remember as the UVB rays that travel from the sun can be harmful to our skin. However, UVB rays do have an important role to play in encouraging our bodies to produce vitamin D3 so the dangers of the sun’s rays must be weighed against the benefits that they also bring us.

    Why do we need vitamin D3?

    Vitamin D3 has been shown to be vital in the development of healthy bones and muscles.

    Vitamin D3 has been shown to be vital in the development of healthy bones and muscles, as well as being a factor in preventing other conditions. For example, children who take vitamin D supplements in early life appear to have a significantly reduced chance of developing type 1 diabetes.

    The most well known consequence of a vitamin D deficiency is the development of rickets. For many years rickets seemed to be largely a problem of the past but numbers have increased fivefold since 1997.

    Studies into vitamin D deficiency have revealed some startling statistics:

    • More than 50% of the UK population are deficient in vitamin D
    • 16% suffer severe deficiency in winter and spring
    • The elderly, obese and those with malabsorption are particularly at risk

    Those with pigmented skin are also more likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency in the UK as far more exposure to sunlight is required to synthesise the same amount of this vital chemical compared to the light end of the skin tone spectrum.

    Sources of vitamin D in the diet

    It is true that Vitamin D3 can be obtained through certain elements of the diet, such as oily fish, eggs and especially fortified foods such as cereals and spreads. However as can be seen from the 50% deficiency rate, a great number of people are not meeting their required levels of this vitamin through diet.

    Vitamin D supplements are available from many health food shops and supermarkets, and are recommended by the Department of Health for the following groups:

    • ArticleBodySmallAll children aged 6 months to 5 years
    • All pregnant and breastfeeding women
    • All people aged over 65
    • Anyone who is housebound or who has limited sun exposure
    • People with darker skin tones

    How can I get enough vitamin D from the sun?

    ArticleBodyLargeIt is impossible to give a ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question as elements such as latitude, time of year, age and skin pigmentation can have a huge effect on how much vitamin D is produced by the body when exposed to sunlight.

    With this in mind, it becomes very difficult to give a set period of time to spend in the sunshine to synthesise enough vitamin D3. However, it is generally understood that between 15 and 30 minutes of exposure will be sufficient for most people. The torso produces the most, followed by legs and arms, but the hands and face produce very little.

    Sun lotion blocks a very high percentage (usually over 90%) of vitamin D3 production so this time in the sun should be spent without UV protection.  Please see our natural sun lotion range if you intend on spending longer periods in the sun.

    Please note that you should never let your skin become burnt or reddened during UV exposure.

    In the UK and many other areas of the world, sunlight during the winter months may not be enough to create enough vitamin D3 so it is important to consider increasing dietary intake to compensate.

    Please consult your doctor, pharmacist or other health professional for information about the appropriate dosage. They may also be able to help with testing for vitamin D deficiency.

    Have you got a question about getting enough vitamin D3 or about our natural sun lotions?

    Our customer care team is happy to help with any questions you may have about our natural sun lotions. Please call us on 01403 740350 or leave your comment or question below.

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  • Natural burn relief for hands

    By Alexandra Posted February 6, 2014
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    Natural burn relief

    Your kitchen can be a hot and dangerous place – we have all been there, a burnt finger, hand or arm on the stove, the oven and the microwave...

    Burns can be classified by degrees

    First-degree

    ArticleBodyLargeThe outer layer of the skin (epidermis) is affected. Your skin gets red and is painful to touch.

    Sun burns and most household burns are first degree burns.

    Second-degree

    Both the outer layer (epidermis) and the underlying layer (dermis) is affected. Blood vessels are damaged and blistering appears. These burns are often very painful and if the affected area is small and not infected, most can be treated at home.

    If a larger area is involved always seek medical attention.

    Third-degree

    Both the outer layer (epidermis) and the underlying layer (dermis) is damaged, the burn is deep and leaves a path of destruction.

    These burns are serious and require immediate medical attention.

    Burn relief

    • Step 1 - Water, water, water

    Immediately run cool water (not ice cold) over the area for several minutes.
    (Placing ice on a burn isn’t a good idea as it can damage to the skin tissues).

    • Step 2 - Raw Potato or Aloe VeraArticleBodySmall

    Potato - rub raw potato slices or grated raw potatoes on the area affected. A burn will pull moisture from the skin will welcome the cooling, soothing and hydrating effect of raw potato.

    Aloe Vera - apply a small piece of fresh Aloe Vera gel onto the burn. Aloe Vera has tissue-healing and painkilling properties.

    • Step 3 - Vinegar

    Vinegar - mix vinegar with equal parts of water. Cover the area with a clean cloth soaked in the vinegar mixture, repeat several times over the next few hours. Vinegar has antiseptic and astringent properties and helps prevent infections.

    • Step 4 - Antibacterial Hand Wash and Help at Hand.

    Keep the affected area clean with our Antibacterial Hand Wash and nourish your hands several times a day with Help at Hand. Both contain over 75% pure Aloe Vera.

    Remember, always seek medical attention if your burn is serious or shows any sign of infection.

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