Hillcroft LRC

Sunny vitamin D

Posted on: June 3, 2016

Vitamin D & sunshineOver the weekend, I read an article about vitamin D. Vitamin D is one of the fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin D deficiency is on the increase in modern society. When the sun hits human skin, it is the shorter ultraviolet B rays that helps (via a long convoluted mechanism) vitamin D in the body to enable calcium to enter every body cell. Calcium helps to create and maintain strong teeth and bones.

Summer sunshine makes many more times more vitamin D than the body requires if you expose your arms and legs without sunscreen for 10 – 15 minutes in the middle of the day 2 – 3 times a week. This short amount of time however is still controversial among scientists due to the risks of skin cancer. Fair skinned people make vitamin D the fastest. Darker skinned people can have difficulty during the winter months because of the tilt of the earth in relation to the sun. To supplement this shortfall, people resort to vitamin D tablets when increasing foods high in vitamin D could be more beneficial. Such foods include fatty fish like sardines, salmon and mackerel, fortified (added vitamin D) margarine and egg yokes.

Medically, a lack of vitamin D and its link with calcium can lead to bone and muscle pain, neurological problems (particularly in the elderly) and an increase in the risk of cancer.

LRC links to Vitamin D

Ross & Wilson anatomy and physiology in health and illness 10th edn (2006) by A. Waugh & A. Grant

Food: the chemistry of its components 6th edn (2016) by Coultate

Trust me I’m a doctor DVD (2014) by the BBC

NHS Choices: how to get Vitamin D from sunlight

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