As easy as B, C, D? We’ve all heard of vitamin C, but what about vitamins B and D and do we know why they are important to human health?

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As easy as B, C, D?

In a recent health survey among 10,000 UK adults, almost 40 per cent admitted that they don’t have access to enough information on supplements.

We’ve all heard of vitamin C, but what about vitamins B and D and do we know why they are important to human health? When it comes to understanding the true benefits of vitamins and minerals, there is a lot of confusing information out there. And with a whole range of new super nutrients regularly spoken about, it can be difficult to know which to prioritise.

At nutritional supplements firm Pharma Nord (, the focus is on the essential nutrients our bodies need to survive. Here, the team explain the importance of vitamins B and D.

The power of sunshine

Did you know that the best source of vitamin D is sunlight?

Up to 50 per cent of adults in the UK are thought to have insufficient levels of vitamin D and 16 per cent of adults have severe deficiency during the winter. The highest rates are found in Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland.

According to an HFMA survey, 46 per cent of people think they get enough vitamin D from vegetables. In fact, the best source of the vitamin is sunshine. Almost one third could not recognise the signs of vitamin D deficiency and nearly 40 per cent do not know which groups the government advises to take vitamin D supplements.

When you think bone health, do you think calcium? The majority of diets contain sufficient levels of calcium, so what most of us should be thinking about is vitamin D.

A deficiency in vitamin D can result in bone and muscle pain, poor bone mineralisation (softer bones) and a greater risk of osteoporosis as we age. There are also links to depression, tiredness and fatigue and heart disease.

Vitamin D is also extremely important for our immune system, helping to protect against the onset of viral infections, flu and colds.

Did you know that we cannot produce vitamin D from sunlight when the sun is low in the sky?

Those most at risk of deficiency include the elderly, people with naturally dark skin, those who work indoors, women who have passed menopause and people with kidney or liver failure. However, these groups are not alone. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) estimates that more than 10 million people in the UK are deficient in vitamin D.

If choosing a vitamin D supplement, look for a minimum of 800 International Units (IU) of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), which is the same as the form produced naturally in the skin. Vitamin D is best absorbed when dissolved in oil-based capsules such as Pharma Nord’s Bio-Vitamin D3 (

The B to more energy

The B-vitamins comprise a family of eight different chemical substances, so there is no surprise that they can be confusing. Each of the substances – vitamin B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic acid), B6 (Pyridoxine), B9 (Folic acid), B12 (Cyanocobalamin) and Biotin – play an important role in energy metabolism.

They don’t provide a direct source of energy but assist the enzymes responsible for the release of energy from carbohydrates and fats.

Whole grains like brown rice and oat-based cereals are good sources. Nuts, seeds, lentils, pulses and green leafy vegetables also contain these vitamins. As B-vitamins are water-soluable and cannot be stored within the body, they need to be obtained from the diet continually. If choosing a supplement, they are best taken in combination as a vitamin B complex due to their mutually supportive action within the body.

Try Pharma Nord’s Bio-Multi Vitamin and Mineral ( which contains 18 essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12. The multivitamin also contains vitamin E, which is an antioxidant protecting our cells from free radical damage, and zinc and magnesium for energy.

For free nutritional advice visit or call 01670 534 900.

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