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How Are Your Vitamin D Levels?

How Are Your Vitamin D Levels?

If you live in Melbourne, chances are your Vitamin D levels are low

An estimated 73% of adults suffer from inadequate vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D is created in the skin when exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. Summer and early autumn are ideal times to build our vitamin D stores. Casual exposure to sunlight during everyday activities provides most people with their vitamin D requirements during these seasons. Exposed skin must be sunscreen free. Even a sunscreen with SPF 8 reduces production of vitamin D by 95%! It is now believed that the vitamin D needs to be absorbed between 10 am and 2 pm and not in the early morning and late afternoon as previously thought.

Optimal levels of sunlight vary among individuals according to latitude, skin colour, age, the season, time of day, genetic factors and health conditions. For fair skinned people, roughly 5-15 minutes of summer sun exposure is required, whereas darker skinned people may need 5 times longer in the sun.

In winter, vitamin D conversion may take more than an hour!

During winter people generally spend less time outdoors and are wearing more clothes. As well as this, the wavelength of solar radiation in Melbourne in winter, is too short to support vitamin D production in the skin. The combination of these factors increases the risk of deficiency by the end of winter.

With current skin cancer messages, our position under the hole in the ozone layer, and the problems getting the sun exposure required for optimal vitamin D synthesis, dietary vitamin D and supplementation may be a safer and more effective alternative.

Vitamin D:

  • is found in food sources include fatty fish, prawns, eggs and fortified foods such as bread, milk, margarine. It is difficult to get enough vitamin D from diet alone.
  • is a fat-soluble vitamin, (a low fat diet may reduce its absorption)
  • requires important co-factors such as magnesium, zinc, vitamin K and boron

Many health conditions have been associated with low vitamin D levels, including rickets, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, upper respiratory infections and autoimmune diseases. Low levels of vitamin D have also been associated with an increased risk of certain cancers and other chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Good Vitamin D levels:

Vitamin D levels are blood tested and covered by Medicare.

If you have low vitamin D levels, make an appointment to review your risk factors at the clinic.

Call 0403755584 or book online 

Angela McTaggart
Qualified Clinical Naturopath
Brunswick Naturopathy

Angela McTaggart - Naturopath, Brunswick Naturopathy