Healthy Bones - Part 1 How much Vitamin D do we need?
30% of Australians have a mild Vitamin D deficiency
Many Australians do not get enough of the "Sunlight Vitamin" Vitamin D, especially during winter.
Sun exposure is the main source of Vitamin D but how much do we need? In Winter, we need longer exposure, if you live in Perth, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne or Hobart you will need around 2-3 hours a week. In Brisbane and Darwin you need as little as a few minutes on most days. During Summer all cities need only a few minutes a day during times the UV index is below 3.
Vitamin D is important to our bodies because it helps fight disease and reduces our risk of Multiple Sclerosis and heart disease. It also reduces the likelihood of developing the flu. Optimal sun exposure has also been reported to reduce depression by regulating moods. It also regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and a healthy immune system.
You are at risk of a deficiency if you:
- are elderly
- spend time indoors
- have darker skin (reduces UV light from penetrating)
- have a medical condition that affects your body's absorption
You can find out your Vitamin D levels through blood testing. If your levels are low, you may need to take a Vitamin D3 supplement. Some food sources are salmon, sardines, egg yolk, prawns, milk, fortified milk/cereal/yoghurt and orange juice.Food alone cannot provide adequate Vitamin D, sun exposure is the best source.
Over six million Australians suffer from musculoskeletal conditions including osteoporosis and scoliosis. Vitamin D is a key ingredient for healthy bones so get your sunshine Vitamin today by planning for time in the sun whether its during your lunch break, walking the kids to school, taking the dog for a walk, watering the garden or catching some rays on the sun-lounge.