The HSIS (Health and Food Supplements Information Service) wrote a damning report in 2019 depicting the state of the nation when it comes to Nutrition. Their 20 year study showed that despite better education and opportunity, there was a decline in overall nutrition.
Their experts warn that the UK is sleep walking into serious illnesses from cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis to memory loss, thanks to poor diets deficient in vital nutrients. The report reveals that UK nutrient trends are set to create a very real likelihood of a surge in chronic illnesses and premature mortality. Younger people are warned that unless they improve their diets now, they face a significantly increased risk of serious health issues by the time they reach middle age, along with a reduced life expectancy.
An analysis of the UK’s two major dietary surveys – the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) annual Family Food Survey and the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme (NDNS-RP), shows that intakes of several micronutrients, in particular riboflavin, folate, vitamin A, vitamin D, iron, calcium, magnesium, iodine, selenium and potassium have declined over the last 20 years.
A summary of some of the key findings
- Intake has decreased by 22% and about 1 in 4 people have low vitamin D levels requiring treatment.
- A staggering 74% of people have levels below the optimal level for well being
- Most of vitamin D is made by the body from sunshine
- UK residents are at higher risk of deficiency due to our geographical location
- Deficiency can cause fatigue, depression, muscle pains, muscle weakness, depression, hair loss, recurrent infections, reduced bone density (osteoperosis), bone fractures, rickets and bone pain.
- Vitamin D is recommended in pregnancy by the Department of Health and many experts. Our pregnancy product has the recommended dose to help keep mother and baby healthy, and our Vitamin D supplement has the ideal dosing to resolve and maintain good levels.
- Intake has declined by 20% overall
- Supplementation recommended in children aged 6 months to 5 years
- Symptoms of deficiency include dry eyes, night blindness, increased susceptibility to infections, increased severity and mortality from infections and anaemia (as those with Vitamin A deficiency also tend to have low iron)
- Supplements with Vitamin A should be avoided in pregnancy as high levels can be toxic. Our products are all safe as we use the precursor Betacarotene.
- Intake has declined by 5% overall
- 27% of women aged 19 – 65 have iron levels below the recommended lower reference nutritional intake
- Iron deficiency can cause many symptoms including tiredness, headaches, dizziness, palpitations (noticeable heartbeats), dry and damaged skin and hair, swollen tongue, mouth ulcers, restless legs, brittle or spoon shaped finger nails, increased infections and feeling depressed.
- Intake has declined by 20% overall
- 10% of adults have a calcium intake below the recommended lower reference nutritional intake. This is higher in girls aged 11-18 at 22%.
- Symptoms of low calcium include tiredness, mood changes, heart problems, dry and rough skin, abnormal sensations, muscle cramps, muscle spasms, seizures, confusion, abnormal teeth and cognitive impairment.
- Risks of osteoperosis (bone thinning) and subsequent bone fractures can be more likely.
- Intake has declined by 5% overall in the last 9 years
- This trend is of significant concern especially for women of reproductive age due to the critical importance of iodine for the growing baby.
- Symptoms of iodine deficiency can include those associated with an underactive thyroid gland; fatigue, weight gain, constipation, depression, muscle pains and weakness, muscle cramps, slow movements and thoughts, sensitivity to the cold, dry skin, brittle hair and nails, alteration in menstrual cycle, loss of libido and carpel tunnel syndrome.
- Low intake levels are observed across the spectrum of ages and gender with 36% of the over 65 category not meeting the minimum recommended lower reference nutritional intake.
- Symptoms of deficiency include a weakened immune system, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, male infertility, muscle weakness and pain, difficulty concentrating and hair loss.
- Low levels have been observed across all age groups
- Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle weakness and tremor, altered sensation, muscle spasms, confusion, vomiting, vertigo, heart problems, seizures and coma.
- Low levels can sometimes be found in those following a vegan or vegetarian dietary intake or those following types of restricted diets.
- Deficiency can lead to tiredness, weakness. Constipation, weight loss and permanent nerve damage.
- About 3% of people are deficient in folate
- It is an essential vitamin meaning the body can not make it so must be included through diet.
- Low level in pregnancy can lead to neural tube defects like spina bifida and taking folic acid is recommended during at least the first trimester of pregnancy and whilst trying for a baby to prevent this complication as recommended