Vitamin D facilitates the absorption of calcium and phosphate which are needed for bone growth. Without sufficient vitamin D our bones can become soft and weak and be more prone to fractures. Although research is still in the early stages, studies suggest vitamin D is beneficial in reducing risk of certain cancer, heart disease and depression.
Where and how do you get Vitamin D?
Your body naturally produces vitamin D when the skin is directly exposed to the sun. From April to September, most people should get sufficient vitamin D from sunlight. It is not known exactly how much time is needed in the sun to make enough vitamin D but uncovered arms, hands and face in the summer months should be enough to ensure your bones remain healthy.
We can also get vitamin D from a small number of foods including oily fish, red meat and eggs.
Tips to ensure you produce enough Vitamin D...
> During the late spring/summer months, get out on your lunch break for a short 10-15 minute walk with your arms exposed
> Look out for foods fortified with Vitamin D such as cereals, milk, yogurts and orange juice
> If you believe supplements are needed to help during the winter, visit your GP first