Australia: sun, beaches, rainforests and..vitamin D deficiency? ☀️ It’s hard to believe that despite having such great climates, 1 in 4 Aussies are thought to be vitamin D deficient with 7% of us having a moderate or severe deficiency.
Vitamin D is a hormone in our body that regulates our calcium levels in our blood. It’s therefore important for good bone and muscle health. Recent research has shown that having a deficiency is linked to an increased risk of bowel cancer, heart disease and auto-immune diseases.
Exposure to UVB radiation (from the sun) is the main source of vitamin D. Once we’re exposed to this our body goes through a number of changes to make vitamin D. You can also get vitamin D through some dietary sources such as milk, oily fish and eggs.
There are certain groups of people who are at risk of deficiencies, including people with naturally dark skin as the pigment inside skin (melanin) acts as a filter to UVB radiation. Older frail adults, those wearing concealing clothing for religious or cultural reasons and night shift workers are also at risk.
The safest time to get your UVB radiation from the sun is when the UV index is below 3. If the UV index is above 3 be sure to wear protection, most people will get their quota of vitamin D through a few minutes of day to day activity.
So Australia, let’s get our bones nice and strong for 2019 🦴💪 Take care and stay healthy x