Vitamin D deficiency is common, with an estimate that 40% of Europeans suffer from it while 13% are severely deficient. (In 2020 )
Some people are at greater risk than others, such as those with naturally deeper skin tones. This is because the pigment (melanin) in the skin doesn’t allow it to absorb as much UV radiation. Although the benefit is natural added protection from UV rays, people with deeper skin tones, such as African, African-Caribbean or south Asian origin, will need to spend longer in the sun to produce the same amount of vitamin D as well someone with fairer skin. If that person is wearing sun protection, then this would increase the time needed in the sun.
This post will explore both the importance and maintenance of Vitamin D levels whilst balancing UV damage protection needs.
WHAT IS VITAMIN D?
· There are two types D2 (Calciferol) and D3 (Cholecalciferol)
· D3 is the most effective and essential form of the vitamin
[More about Vitamin D benefits in the previous post]
HOW DO YOU GET VITAMIN D?
The sunshine vitamin’s best source is natural sunlight. However, there are many food sources of vitamin D, including oily fish, egg yolks, liver and butter. It is worth highlighting that it is difficult in the North Hemisphere to achieve the required levels through food and sunlight alone. This is why the recommendation is to take supplements for six months a year.
The impact is deeper skin tones tend to suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency. Without Vitamin D, our bodies cannot absorb calcium, magnesium and phosphate, essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Other signs and symptoms include:
- Bone pain
- Muscle weakness, muscle aches, or muscle cramps
- Low mood
- Hair loss
- Frequent illness
Sun protection is essential for protecting against cancer. So it is crucial to continue to use this when in the sun. Equally, it is necessary to ensure you maintain a healthy Vitamin D intake through supplement use.
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