Here comes the sun and Vitamin D!

We have experienced a very early Spring which has seen lots of sun and high temperatures and sunbathing in February!

Sun is a vital source of Vitamin D which is essential for healthy bones, and our bodies create Vitamin D when exposed to direct sunlight.  It helps us absorb calcium and phosphate from our diet which are important for healthy bones, teeth and muscle.   We can get some Vitamin D from a small number of foods such as oily fish including salmon and mackerel, as well as red meat and eggs.  If we don’t have enough of these vitamins and minerals our bones soften and become weak.

We can make enough Vitamin D from being in the sun every day for short periods of time from March to the end of September – and you do need to be outside, sitting in a sunny room will not help as the glass filters the ultraviolet rays.   Sunscreen is essential to prevent burning, as the weather gets hotter and sunnier during the summer.  It is not known how much time exactly is needed to make enough Vitamin D.  There are a number of factors that can affect how Vitamin D is made, such as your skin colour and how much skin you have exposed.  If you have dark skin such as those of African, African-Caribbean or south Asian origin, you will need to spend longer in the sun to produce the same amount of Vitamin D as someone with lighter skin.

For more information go to the NHS website

 

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