Just because we have hotter weather doesn’t mean that people automatically increase their natural vitamin D levels. When questioning my clients many don’t go outside in sunny weather, are covered up or are overdoing sunscreen, and whilst burnt skin will cause damage and can contribute to cancer, regular careful use of the sun offers huge health benefits including lowering blood pressure, increased bone health, increased mood and cancer protective.
The geneticist Steve Jones has urged people to take vitamin D supplements, particularly children, who spend an hour less outside than they did 10 years ago. Unless you are getting regular sun on the skin, then this may apply even during summer. Many people think they are OK because there is some vitamin D in their multi, but the levels in multivitamin and mineral supplements are usually very low.
Jones said the bone disease rickets, which doctors thought they had eliminated from Britain in the 1950s, was a real issue today and is coming back because of a shift in human behaviour which we never thought would happen,” he said.
Our individual need for vitamin D levels vary greatly. Most people need 2,000 iu during the winter and less in the winter according to sun exposure. Those with auto- immune conditions generally have a higher therapeutic need. You can test your own levels via a home price test from Birmingham City Hospital for £28. The reference ranges are quite conservative. Go to http://www.vitamindtest.org.uk or call 0121 507 4278 for a pack.
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