Do you know what vitamin D is and how much you should be having? Keep on reading!
What is Vitamin D?
For most Australians, the main source of vitamin D is from the sun. Vitamin D is produced when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) light . However many Australians do not have adequate vitamin D levels, especially during winter. Vitamin D is essential for overall health, helping to absorb calcium which improves our bone health. This plays an important role in maintaining bone structure as well as healthy teeth.
Over 30% of adults in Australia are reported to have mild, moderate or even severe vitamin D deficiency. Having low vitamin D levels can:
Lead to bone and joint pain
Increase the risk of falls and bone fracture in older people
Impact on unborn children in mothers with vitamin D deficiency
Those At Risk
Wondering if you are at risk of vitamin D deficiency? Those may include:
Naturally dark skinned, as darker skin reduces the penetration of UV light.
Avoiding the sun for skin protection or due to medical advice for other medical reasons
Covering your body for cultural or religious reasons
Affected by other medical conditions that can impact on your ability to absorb or process vitamin D
Babies of vitamin D deficient mothers
Different types of vitamin D
Vitamin D is mainly produced in our skin by a reaction that requires sunlight. Vitamin D is found in low levels in food thus requiring exposure to the sun to receive required amounts. There are two types of Vitamin D – Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and Vitamin D3 (colecalciferol).
Produced in plants and enters the body through diet.
Thought to be more bioactive than Vitamin D2 and is used in Blooms Vitamin D3 1000IU.
Vitamin D3 is more effective in raising blood levels of Vitamin D than Vitamin D2
Vitamin D3 increases absorption of Calcium whereas Vitamin D2 does not
Vitamin D3 binds to plasma proteins and isn’t excreted as easily from the body
Recent research has found that Australians have low blood levels of Vitamin D. 23% of women are marginally deficient in Vitamin D. It is also reported that, the average estimated dietary intake of Vitamin D is ten times lower than recommended levels. A limit to exposure in sunlight has been thought to account for the reduction of Vitamin D.
Supplementation provides the required amount which is unattainable from diet alone and without the dangers of exposure to sunlight.
Visit your doctor if you feel you may have a vitamin Ddeficiency