Vitamin D is important for the health of your bones, muscles and teeth. This is because it helps you absorb calcium and phosphorous from food. A deficiency can cause weakened bones – this can lead to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Vitamin D also plays an important role in keeping your immune system functioning properly. This is especially key during winter, when there are more colds and bugs going around
Good sources of vitamin D
From about late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight.
The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors.
But between October and early March we do not make enough vitamin D from sunlight.
Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods.
- oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel
- red meat
- egg yolks
- fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals
People at risk of vitamin D deficiency
Some people will not make enough vitamin D from sunlight because they have very little or no sunshine exposure.
The Department of Health and Social Care recommends that adults and children over 4 take a daily supplement containing 10 micro grams of vitamin D throughout the year if they:
- are not often outdoors – for example, if they’re frail or housebound
- are in an institution like a care home
- usually wear clothes that cover up most of their skin when outdoors
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency
It’s not easy to spot vitamin D deficiency. Some people might feel tired or get aches and pains. But others may not have any symptoms until it’s too late, for example bowed legs or poor growth in children. Your doctor can carry out a blood test to check your levels, but if you’re worried about your exposure to the sun or it’s winter you should start taking a supplement.
Source – shorturl.at/kCMW5
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