• A New Way to Get Your Daily Dose of Vitamin D

LC-MS

A New Way to Get Your Daily Dose of Vitamin D

Feb 29 2016

In 2014 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) — which acts as an advisory body to the National Health Service (NHS) — advised that as many as 10 million people in England could lack the requisite amount of vitamin D. Vitamin D is made when light is absorbed from the sun and is helpful in avoiding a number of serious health complications.

Subsequently, a flurry of research into pills, supplements and other innovative methods of making up the deficit took place. One innovative method is to use an oral spray which has been shown to be more effective at raising vitamin D levels than tablets.

Why vitamin D is necessary

According to health group BetterYou, the average human needs to absorb 1000IU (international units) of vitamin D for every 25kg of body weight on a daily basis. Therefore, an average adult would require between 2000IU and 3000IU to get the recommended amount of the vitamin.

With the weather in the UK, getting access to such levels of sunshine is difficult, to say the least. Even with sunny days, the hectic pace of modern life means that few of us can afford the luxury of topping up our vitamin D levels with a prolonged snooze in the park.

Unfortunately, this deficit could have grave implications for our health — with too little vitamin D linked with:

  • type 2 diabetes,
  • multiple sclerosis (MS),
  • osteoporosis and other diseases of the bone,
  • cancer, or
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Aside from the health implications on an individual level, vitamin D deficiency is estimated to cause the NHS as much as £29 billion, which is over 25% of its entire budget.

How to Make Up the Deficit

Traditionally, getting our daily dose of vitamin D has involved popping a pill if the sun doesn't shine. The vitamin D supplement market is a lucrative industry, and scientists are perennially trying to find new and more effective ways of both enhancing vitamin D levels and also of measuring the compound in blood samples. Currently, one of the most effective method of doing so is using chromatography, as discussed in the article, Development of a Highly Selective LC/MS Assay for Vitamin D Metabolites.

Vitamin D spray is quick

Several UK teams have investigated the correlation between the symptoms of IBS sufferers and their vitamin D levels. Research has found that those who used the supplementary spray (as opposed to a placebo), displayed impressively elevated levels of the vitamin. Of particular note was the speed and efficiency with which the spray worked, which was up to 50% quicker than traditional tablets and pills.

“The ultra-fast uptake is due to the very absorbent tissue within the mouth and the close proximity of a rich vein network,” explained Dr. Charles Heard, head of a study at Cardiff University. “In some cases it is close to that of IV or intramuscular injections.”

Image from Wikimedia commons

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