The 3 vitamins you should know about

Boots nutrition expert cuts through the noise:

Upon starting to read an article about Vitamins, it can be difficult to know whether you’re going to be presented with new "evidence" to back up assertions that they’re essential wonder solutions to our busy lifestyles, or whether you’re going to be told that they’re simply a waste of time and money.

Perhaps in response to some damaging stories about bogus claims which certainly did the industry no favours, a wholesale review of claims associated with food ingredients was conducted by the European Food Safety Authority. The rules of the game were overhauled almost overnight and, as a result of the changes, the market has never been more stringently regulated.

As you’d expect, ingredients added to foods and to food supplements must be tightly assessed for their safety and suitability. The more noteworthy thing for the former vitamin naysayers, though, were the newly enforced rules requiring all claims to be linked to approved scientific data.

For consumers, it means the 2017 vitamins and supplements market is more credible than ever and scientifically substantiated.

The fact is, vitamins can play a critical role in supporting our health.

We know, though, that it can be very confusing to find the right vitamin supplement for you. With so many out there, we want to cut through the noise and show you three vitamins that you absolutely should know about.

Every growing child should be taking a vitamin D supplement

It’s perhaps surprising that, in 2017, we’re in a place that one child in every classroom* is at risk of poor bone development(1)(2). The main cause? Children aren’t getting enough Vitamin D.

* aged between 4 to 10 years old

Vitamin D is critical for healthy bone development as it’s essential in helping the body absorb calcium from foods.

The situation is now that the UK Department of Health have taken the rare step of recommending that every single child should be taking a daily vitamin supplement containing 10 mcg of Vitamin D*.

We’ve put together the simple guide below that helps you to find how much Vitamin D you should be giving your child – alternatively, you can speak to a Pharmacist or Pharmacy Advisor in Boots stores.

¥Unless infant is on 500 ml of formula milk which already contains Vitamin D.

*The Department of Health advises that infants under 1 year old take a daily Vitamin D supplement of 8.5 mcg – 10 mcg all year round, that children between 1 and 4 take a 10 mcg daily Vitamin D supplement all year round; and that children over 5 and adults consider taking a 10 mcg Vitamin D supplement in the winter months.

Plant sterols are proven to lower cholesterolǂ

Over 1.5m over 65s in the UK are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease because of raised cholesterol levels*(1)(3) due to their diet and lifestyle. High Cholesterol is a risk factor in developing cardiovascular disease(4)(5).

*between 6.5 and 7.8 mmol/L total cholesterol

Plant Sterols are clever, natural, plant-based substances which have a very similar structure to Cholesterol. By taking a Plant Sterol supplement, your body thinks it is absorbing cholesterol, lowering the amount of cholesterol it actually absorbs, helping to normalise cholesterol levels and promote good heart health.

Although plant sterols can be found in some food, such as grains and vegetables, the levels within a supplement are much higher than can easily be found in food. Plant Sterol Supplements have been through rigorous scientific trials and have been proven to help reduce cholesterol levels.

ǂPlant sterols have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease. The beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 1,5-3 g plant sterols.

Feeling tired or run-down? Try vitamin B

Some days can feel like they are never ending - we’re always running around, trying to get our jobs done and taking care of our children and family. People often associate energy with Vitamin C, but we think it’s actually B Vitamins that you should be considering as the best addition to your repertoire.

B Vitamins such as Vitamin B2 can help to reduce tiredness and fatigue while having a number of other benefits. We recommend a B complex supplement, which can contain up to 8 different B Vitamins including Vitamin B6 which supports energy and helps maintain our immune system. This nutrient is particularly important when you feel like you need that extra support during those busy periods.

At Boots, we don’t think any Vitamin should be used to substitute for a healthy, balanced diet. However, the 3 vitamins discussed here could make a real difference to you and your family.


(1)NDNS: National Diet and Nutrition Survey Years 5-6

(2)Department for Education report on Schools, pupils and their characteristics: January 2017

(3)Population estimates and deaths by single year of age for England and Wales and the UK, 1961 to 2016

(4)NHS Choices – High Cholesterol

(5)NHS Choices – Cardiovascular Disease

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