Did you know that most people are deficient in Vitamin D. Yet, it is essential for good health.

We need vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium and phosphate from our diet. These minerals are important for healthy bones, teeth and muscles.

A lack of vitamin D; Known as vitamin D deficiency can cause bones to become soft and weak, which can lead to bone deformities. In adults it can lead to osteomalacia, which causes bone pain and tenderness.

In addition to the above it has been reported that vitamin D ‘triggers and arms’ the immune system. The report says that researchers believe that vitamin D plays a key role in boosting the immune system.

This report came from a study that looked at human T cells in the laboratory, and found that vitamin D was part of a complex process in which T cells become ‘primed’ and help to fight infection. While these findings suggest that people with vitamin D deficiency are more susceptible to infection or that vitamin D supplements might boost immunity, this is not conclusive. What is definite is that it is important to have enough vitamin D to maintain a healthy body. 

Our bodies create vitamin D from direct sunlight on our skin when we are outdoors. In the UK from about late March/early May to the end of September, most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight.

We also get some vitamin D from a small number of foods, including oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herrings and sardines, as well as red meat and eggs.

HOW LONG SHOULD WE SPEND IN THE SUN

Most people can make enough vitamin D from being out in the sun daily for short periods with as much of their body exposed as they can without sunscreen from late March to the end of September, especially between 11am and 3pm.

It’s not know exactly how much time is needed in the sun to make enough vitamin D to meet the body’s requirements. This is because there are a number of factors that affect how vitamin D is made, such as your skin colour or how much skin you have exposed. 

WARNING – You should be very careful not to burn in the sun. So, make sure to cover up before your skin starts to go red.

NOTE – Your body can not make vitamin D if you are sitting indoors by a sunny window, because ultraviolet B (UBV) rays (the ones your body needs to make vitamin D) can’t get through glass.

WINTER SUNLIGHT

In the UK, sunlight doesn’t contain enough UVB radiation in winter (October to early March) for our skin to be able to make vitamin D.

During this time we rely on getting our vitamin D from food sources and supplements.

WARNING – Using sun-beds is not a recommended way to get vitamin D.

So, right now, it is more important than ever to boost your vitamin D levels.

Why not get your vitamin D levels tested and see if you need to top up with a supplement.

Click here to get tested.