What is it?
Vitamin D is a fat soluble which can be obtained from some foods such as oily fish, offal, egg yolk and some fortified foods. It can also be made by the action of UV sunlight on skin.
What if we do not get enough sunlight?
Sunlight during late March until the end of September supplies people with a good amount of Vitamin D, along with food sources. However people should be mindful of Vitamin D intake in other months of the year and should consult their doctor or dietitian to assess overall lifestyle and dietary habits to ensure adequate Vitamin D is being obtained.
What is Vitamin D used for?
Vitamin D is needed to regulate the amount of potassium and calcium in the body. It maintains calcium absorption from the gut and helps to build and keep healthy bones, teeth and muscles.
What about a supplement?
It may be necessary for some people to take a supplement of Vitamin depending on their lifestyle (eg: time outdoors etc) and based on their dietary habits. Infants who are breastfed are also advised to take a supplement of Vitamin D. Again, it’s important to consult your GP or dietitian to find out what best works for you and to understand upper limits.
What happens if I don’t have enough Vitamin D?
A deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
It is important to always be mindful of skin care when out in the sunlight and to ensure safety in the sun is adhered to. It should also be noted that people with darker skin will need to spend longer in the sun compared to someone with lighter skin in order to make enough Vitamin D.