These days there is renewed focus on Vitamin D and doctors requesting pathology tests for their patients routinely check for Vitamin D levels. After years of covering up in the sun, we are now being told we need more exposure, because Vitamin D is synthesised by the action of sunlight on skin. Yet despite our wonderful sunny climate over 70% of adult Australians suffer from inadequate levels of Vitamin D. Most at risk are those who don’t spend enough time outdoors – older, housebound people, darker-skinned people, those who cover up with clothing, work indoors or regularly avoid sun exposure.
Why we need Vitamin D
Getting enough Vitamin D is important because it is a bit of an all-rounder:
- It helps build bone strength, preventing osteoporosis;
- It maintains muscle strength and definition and can reduce fractures in the elderly;
- It boosts your immunity reducing the frequency of colds and flus so you have more resilience;
- It reduces the risk of cancers, cardiovascular disease and diabetes;
- It has beneficial effects on hormone synthesis and reproductive health;
- It enhances mood – helping you feel good – so really helps in the treatment of depression.
So there is hardly a time of life when Vitamin D is not important to us.
How to achieve optimal Vitamin D levels
- Aim for 6-7 minutes of sun exposure mid-morning or mid-afternoon during warmer months, and 7-40 minutes at noon during winter.
- Arms and shoulders should be visible and without sunscreen.
- Be wary of unprotected sun exposure for longer periods than this especially between 11am and 3pm when UV radiation levels are highest.
However, catching a little sun, as seen here on Bar Beach, Newcastle, isn’t always possible. Therefore it sometimes helps to supplement our naturally synthesised vitamin D.
Being a fat-soluble vitamin, Vitamin D is prone to oxidisation and deterioration, so it is important to use a high quality Vitamin D with proven stability.
For more information on Vitamin D and its benefits click link below: