48 Wimpole Blog

Vitamin D

Spring is almost upon us and it is time to look ahead.  We’ve suffered through October to March with short days, grey skies, cold and rain, but March signals the imminent arrival of sunshine, blue skies and warmth. That’s the theory at least, but in this country you never know.

Winter, and festivities like Christmas and new year can leave us feeling sluggish and heavy.  Many people are run down and unhealthy after bugs, coughs and colds, and long periods spent indoors with the central heating on full blast.

If that’s you, this is a good time to look forward positively and think about ways to perk yourselves up and get your health back on track. If you’ve not already done so, it’s time to address any weight gain, step up exercise levels and review diet and alcohol intake.

However, another less publicised health issue is equally deserving of attention, as it is becoming increasingly common and has serious consequences – vitamin D deficiency.

Studies have shown that low Vitamin D levels can:

  • weaken your immune system
  • increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis
  • increase the severity of arthritis
  • increase the risk of falls for older people
  • increase the risk of stress fractures
  • cause reduced limb muscle strength
  • cause joint pain and aching, particularly with movement

Most people have heard of rickets and will think of Dickensian times and children with deformed and bowed legs. This can be caused by an extreme lack of Vitamin D.  But Vitamin D deficiency is on the rise today and risks the health of many adults who are unaware of their own low levels.

Vitamin D helps to control the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies, which are needed for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. It is found naturally in only a small number of foods, including oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolks, as well as fortified breakfast cereals.

Even if you do eat plenty of these foods, it can still be difficult to get the recommended amounts of Vitamin D as the main source is the action of sunlight on our skin.

Vitamin D is often called the sunshine vitamin because your body produces it when skin is exposed to sunlight. Where possible, going outside and exposing your arms and face to sunlight is the best way to get vitamin D. From June to August 15 minutes a day is generally enough. Dark skin needs more exposure, and more exposure is also needed in winter.

We are bombarded with advice about skin cancer awareness, practising ‘safe sun’ and protecting delicate young and older skin from the risks of ageing, so many of us shield ourselves from the sun wherever possible, slapping on copious amounts of sunscreen.  But, as with so many things, getting the balance right is important.

Because of the lack of sunlight, slight deficiency is quite common in winter in the UK, especially in the north. There is some evidence that arthritis progresses more quickly in people who don’t have enough vitamin D.

In 2016, in light of this increasing problem, the government’s Scientific Advisory Commission on Nutrition reviewed previous advice and now recommend that all children and adults consider taking a vitamin D supplement, and seeking advice and possibly a test from your GP.

Further studies are under way, looking at the link between low vitamin D and various diseases. So check out your levels and be good to your bones as part of your new commitment to health. They have to hold you up for a lifetime.

Wendy O’Neill, Nutritionist

Nick and Sophia are top professionals with a comprehensive network of specialists, should they be needed, in the vicinity of Harley street. I have seen a number of them and all have been “top quartile” in my opinion.
Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS
48 Wimpole Street practice has taken outstanding care of my family for three generations. They are a fantastic team, from the doctors to the practice staff. I am always confident that we receive the best of care and advice.
Shrai Madhvani
I have been visiting the Wimpole Street practise for 10 years now and can honestly say the level of service I have received is second to none. Sophia and her team always go above and beyond to ensure their patients receive the warmest welcome and …
James Myers, Group Managing Director TVC Group
I have been both a patient of Dr Khalique’s and she has worked with us in our business for a number of years. I and my team have been constantly impressed with her medical expertise, professionalism and caring manner. She is supported by terrific staff …
Sara Geater
Dr Khalique provides invaluable professional support to Thames. The Practice at 48 Wimpole Street is integral to the screening and welfare of contributors taking part in our highest profile television programmes. The consultancy provided to our productions ensures that we can offer the best and …
Dean Jones. Director of Production, Thames
I have and our company has been a patient of Dr Sophia Khalique’s and ’48 Wimpole Street’ for 15 years. She and her team are fantastic; they have a wonderful manner, truly care about their patients, are totally professional and give great advice. We use all their facilities …
Nick True Chairman TLC Marketing Worldwide
As a family, we are very content with the services we have received from the practice of Dr Sawyer and Dr Khalique. The caring and accommodating staff have always been assuring to any urgent need we have had in the past. For a small practice …
Fauziah and Jeremy Robinow
For me Sophia has been a constant presence and support through a couple of particularly torrid and potentially (but not yet!) terminal years. Consultants are highly focused and knowledgeable doctors, but they cannot generally, and do not, provide the sort of constant holistic care that …
John Stephens, Barrister, Lincoln’s Inn
Having known Dr Khalique for fifteen years, we have developed a great relationship as she has seen me grow up and been with me every step of the way to make sure I became the healthy, happy person I am today. Most people my age …
Yasmin, First year student at Bristol University
Having experienced the service provided by Nick and Sophia, Timothy James & Partners recommend all important clients’ medicals be carried out by their practice. It is efficient and we stay in control of the paperwork and medical underwriting. Many of those clients that have been …
Timothy Whiting, Timothy James & Partners
Dr. Nick Sawyer has kept us in good health for more than 15 years. He has always been kind and caring and referred us to top specialists whichever care has been our need. We are always confident that whatever the reason for our visit we …
Philipa and Michael Bradley
Sophia Khalique has been our family doctor for the past fourteen years. She has not only seen us through the birth of my youngest son and the usual childhood and adult ailments but also through major illnesses, both chronic and acute. Sophia has been our …
Mrs M Jay and Mr R Pyke
I have known Dr Khalique for many years. She has all the qualities of a top doctor. She has compassion and sympathy in addition to being extremely competent professionally. She is a joy to work with and has a lovely bedside manner. I would heartily …
Dr Charlie Cockerell
The Bechtel Corporation have relied upon Dr. Sawyer for the past 25 years and Dr. Khalique for 15 years for medical services that include pre foreign assignment medicals, executive medical evaluation, preventative services, medical risk assessments and all manner of GP services. We work all …
Rob Bull, HR Manager, Bechtel Corporation
I have the great pleasure in being both a personal patient of Dr Sophia Khalique and of having a professional relationship with her and her practice at 48 Wimpole street for Medical and psychiatric pre-care and after care for the contestants that audition and appear …
Richard Holloway, M.D. Thames Television. Interim C.E.O. Fremantle Media U.K.