It’s Springtime and the sun has been out in the last few days… this will actually have allowed your body to produce and maintain its levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for the body as it helps regulate the nutrients that are needed to keep your bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. Did you know, a lack of vitamin D can cause thinning or weakness of the bone, dental problems, and poor development in children?
Safe sunlight exposure and diet will help maintain the levels of vitamin D in your body throughout the year. In the UK, 90% of everyone’s vitamin D source is derived from skin exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation from sunlight, with the remaining 10% coming from dietary sources.
The solar UV levels are highest in the UK spring and summer months between late March, early April, and September, and around midday between 11 am and 3 pm. Safe sunlight exposure means going out for short periods in strong sunlight, and leaving only areas of skin that are often exposed uncovered such as the forearms, hands, or lower legs. Longer periods of exposure to strong sunlight lead to burning or tanning and should be avoided. Try and eat naturally rich food sources of vitamin D which include egg yolk, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines, wild mushrooms, red meat, fat, liver, kidney, etc.
It is recommended that people at risk of low levels of vitamin D such as the elderly, people with dark skin (African, Afro-Caribbean, or south Asian background), pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, and people with conditions such as obesity, digestive, liver and kidney problems should take a daily Vitamin D supplement containing 400 international units. Everyone should consider taking supplements during the winter months.
For concerns about low levels of vitamin D in your body, you can book a video consultation with our private GP.