Am I getting enough Vitamin D?

Source: BBC

Are your ‘sunshine vitamin’ levels low? Discover why you need vitamin D, how to get more and what to do if you’re concerned about your levels…

Am I getting enough Vitamin D?

Why do we need Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is made in our skin via direct exposure to sunlight. Our liver and kidneys then convert it into a form we can use. Vitamin D is extremely important for strong bones and teeth, as it helps us absorb the calcium we eat and it also controls the amount of calcium in our blood.  It’s really important that our vitamin D levels aren’t low or our body won’t absorb the calcium we eat.
There aren’t any visual signs of vitamin D deficiency. If our levels are very low and we are severely deficient, we are at risk of developing weaker bones which is a condition known as osteomalacia. Severe deficiency in children may result in soft skull or leg bones and their legs may look curved or bow-legged, which is a condition called rickets.  As low levels are common in the UK, it’s worth getting tested if you’re concerned. Ask your GP for a blood test.

Vitamin D levels explained

Vitamin D blood ranges Classification
Under 25nmol/L Deficient
25 – 50nmol/L Insufficient
50-75nmol/L Sufficient
Over 75nmol/L Optimal

How much sun do we need?

It is difficult to give a one-size-fits-all recommendation for sunlight exposure during the summer months. This is because so many other factors affect the amount of vitamin D that’s made in the skin, including your skin colour and age, the strength of the sun, the time of day and where you live. Guidelines regarding this are under review and more information is anticipated later in 2016. The recent SACN report suggests that everyone over the age of one needs to consume 10mcg of vitamin D daily in order to protect bone and muscle health. In addition, public health officials say that in the winter months people should consider getting this from vitamin D supplements, if their diet is unlikely to provide it. See the NHS website for current advice.

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Categories: Health, The Muslim Times

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