Vitamin D - the "sunshine vitamin". Are you getting enough?
Are you getting enough Vitamin D? It’s also known as the “sunshine vitamin” as it is produced by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight and once you get a suntan the body stops producing vitamin D.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that controls calcium absorption, which affects bone development and is essential for blood clotting. Found in mainly animal products, often vegans and vegetarians may need supplements.
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and teeth, especially during childhood and without it your body cannot build or maintain strong bones. Deficiency symptoms include, backache, tooth decay, brittle and painful bones and in rickets in children.
If you get plenty of exposure to sunlight you are unlikely to need vitamin D supplements. People cover themselves up from the sun, night workers, vegan or vegetarians or those who are housebound may require supplements. Multivitamins tablets usually contain 5 mcg of vitamin D, but if you are over the age of 50 you may require twice this amount.
The adult RDA (recommended daily allowance) can be obtained by eating 2 canned pilchards.
However as vitamin D is fat soluble, it is stored in the body, if you exceed the RDA (recommended daily allowance) then you could have side effects such as vomiting, headaches, diarrhoea and depression. Therefore please don’t exceed the RDA, especially with children as they are most at risk.
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