Saturday, 30 June 2018

Vitamin D

I imagine that most people reading this will already have read up on the importance of Vitamin D for bone health and to support the immune system (in particular the respiratory system and urinary tract) but the problem continues: how to get enough of it at a time when many people in the UK are deficient? There is diet: dairy products, eggs, red meat, liver, oily fish and fortified cereals all contain some but it is still difficult to absorb enough through diet alone, we need to also expose ourselves to sun. The recommended effective time to do this is between 11am and 3pm between April and September as this is when the wavelength is optimal. However, if you have a skin type like mine this is exactly when you will be trying to avoid skin damage from the sun so what to do? The standard advice is to expose a small amount, for instance the hands and/or lower legs, for about fifteen minutes daily before putting on sunscreen and covering up. If you are dark skinned you may need to stay exposed for longer, or for less time if you burn easily; the important thing is not to allow yourself to burn. There are also supplements you can take but be aware that it is possible to consume too much Vitamin D and this can have serious health consequences so never exceed the dose that has been recommended to you.