Most horse owners and riders would consider themselves to be ‘outdoor’ people and very likely think they get plenty of sunshine to boost their health, but recent reports show that this is frequently not the case. Vitamin D is the only vitamin you cannot get enough of from a healthy, balanced diet – it needs to be supplemented.
After reviewing research studies around the world over the last year or so, Ruggles & Stopitall Ltd is not only raising awareness of Vitamin D deficiency, but helping us understand what body parts need exposing for maximum effect, and, how easy it is to ‘charge up’ your and your horse’s bodies.
Surprise. Only between mid-April and September in the UK are the sun’s UV rays strong enough to convert into Vitamin D within the body. The other seven months deliver no Vitamin D, even if you were totally naked! So with many people using sunblock and covering up under clothing (or horse rugs), we are just not getting enough.
Studies. Recent studies demonstrate that around 86% of UK adults are Vitamin D deficient during the winter – and 57% are still deficient in our summer despite many going abroad for the sun. In Scotland the statistics are around 92% deficient in winter and 75% in summer due to a weaker northern sun. (Deficiency is classified through blood tests as below 50 nmol per Litre)
Signs. So if you are lacking in energy, struggling to recover from illness, joints and/or muscles seem unusually challenged, or you feel a bit depressed or under par, it could well be Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is vital in humans and animals for nerve and muscle control as well as for joints and bones as it helps the body retain calcium for bone formation. Equally critical are its roles for healthy immune systems and mental equilibrium.
Exposure – Load it fast and free (UK Latitudes only)
A) Rugged or Stabled Animals. Try to let them have around 20-30 minutes at least twice weekly without rugs (ideally between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. between April and September) – this allows conversion of the sun’s UV rays into Vitamin D. If you’re worried about them being plagued with flies, just try some Ruggle-it for a natural and great value fly repellent.
B) Humans. 15-20 minute ‘loading sessions’ at least twice weekly during April to September – expose the midriff, back and/or full legs (the head and arms are ineffective converters of Vitamin D from the sun’s UV). Do not apply suncreams during these short ‘loading’ sessions – at all other times take care in the sun so a sensible approach is required. Each short session can naturally ‘load’ up to 20,000 IU of Vitamin D3 into your body’s circulation. And even better…it’s free!
Supplementation. If you cannot manage the above (perhaps via a skimpy vest-top or rolling up your trousers or skirt during your lunch break), Ruggles & Stopitall offer Vitamin D supplements – 100 x 1-a-day Vitamin D3 (5000 IU for optimum human benefit) for £20.58 or 200 for £39.99. Or to establish if you are deficient in Vitamin D, they offer humans a simple home test kit (NHS approved) for £25.99
Ruggles & Stopitall Ltd – helping bodies be healthy, naturally. Visit www.karenruggles.co.uk for information on all their naturally inspired products or to order online (or call 01823 259952).