Have you heard of Vitamin D? Do you have enough of it?
Vitamin D is made by your skin when it comes in to contact with sunlight, and it is super important for general health.
Vitamin D is necessary for:
– Normal bone and tooth development
– Healthy bone density
– Healthy muscle function
– Healthy immune function
Lack of vitamin D can lead to tiredness, generalised aches and pains and increased susceptibility to coughs and colds. Severe vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets in children or osteomalacia (weak bones) in adults and weak muscles.
It can be tricky to get enough vitamin D as many Londoners spend a lot of time indoors and even when we are outside, British sunshine can be hard to find. This is a particular problem in winter when the days are short.
There are various recommendations for the amount of direct sunlight we need or healthy vitamin D levels – ranging from 10 minutes a day outdoors in short sleeves, to all day every day in as little clothing as possible.
It is possible to get vitamin from dietary sources such as oily fish and eggs, but it’s impossible to get sufficient amounts from your diet alone.
Guidance from Public Health England does not recommend a specific amount of ‘sunbathing’ time but does suggest getting as much natural daylight as possible wile avoiding sun burn. It also suggests taking a vitamin D supplement in winter months.
You can learn more about Vitamin D on the Public Health England blog.
If you’re suffering from unexplained aches & pains and tiredness it may be due to low vitamin D levels. Speak to your GP so they can help you work out what’s happening, and in the meantime try to get plenty of sunshine!