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Cause and Effect - Market of Vitamins and Dietary Supplements Uk

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UK, one of the Europe's most developed countries, had a €674.6 mn market of vitamins and dietary supplements in 2009, one-third out of which was vitamins supplements ( € 208mn). Research conducted by Food Standards Agency (FSA) in 2008 highlighted that one-third of UK's population takes some vitamins, mineral or dietary supplement on most days. Vitamins deficiencies can cause serious malfunctions in the body and hence vitamin supplements are justified for those prone to high risk of deficiencies such as pregnant and breastfeeding women (vitamin D) ,women trying to conceive or in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy( folic acids ), children between the age of 6 months to five years (vitamin A,C and D), people above 65 years of age (Vitamin D), people with darker skin or those who are not exposed to sun (vitamin D) and specific vitamins for a medical condition. However, all 13 essential vitamins needed by the body are found in variety of foods and hence can be obtained naturally by having a balanced diet on your plate.

Significant causes for t he steep increase in number of people taking vitamin supplements on a regular basis are highlighted below:

* Increased levels of awareness about health and wellbeing from information available on internet and media.

* For a specific cosmetic remedy or benefit such as glowing skin, shiny hair, strong teeth and bones etc.

* Misconception that supplements will compensate for the unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle.

* Easy availability of supplements via local stores and attractive promotional offers.

Vitamin D is the only essential vitamin that a body can produce under the skin when exposed to sun. It is one of most vital elements of a body and its deficiency can cause serious effects such as rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults and increases the risk of multiple sclerosis. UK's four Chief Medical Officers (2012) have already highlighted that up to a quarter of UK's population is Vitamin D deficient and thus prone to risks of clinical deficiencies of this essential vitamin. The Government has reiterated its advice to all those at risk to take necessary vitamin supplements. Free vitamin supplements (including Vitamin D) are already available to women and children under 4 years Government's Healthy Start Scheme. Along with the measures already taken by the Government, the two suggestions mentioned below will ensure that process of supplements reaching the needy is expedited and efficiently implemented.

* The Government should undertake a massive awareness program to educate the population through all mediums of communications.



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