Are you feeling blue or have SAD? You may be deficient in Vitamin D. This is due to a lack of sunlight and an increase in sunscreen use.

So what are the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency? Because Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, the obvious ones are poor bone formation – rickets, osteoporosis and brittle bones, but these show when the damage has been done. Vitamin D is important for muscles, nerves and is a major factor in the immune system. Together with calcium and magnesium, vitamin D also helps protect from osteoporosis.

Who is at risk?

  • Those with black or brown skin
  • People who cover up when they go out or avoid the sun
  • Institutionalised people
  • Pregnant women
  • Those who use lots of sunscreen
  • People with auto-immune diseases
  • People who have poor absorption such a coeliacs and those with Crohns

So what should we do? Sunbathe sensibly (10 – 15 minutes without burning) and during winter supplement with Vitamin D3 drops or D3 Melts (unless you are at risk then should supplement all year round. ( ).

Eat oily fish 2/3 times a week along with full fat milk and egg yolks (minimal amounts of Vitamin D)

If you think you are deficient (most people are), get yourself tested. Few GPs will do it, otherwise, Birmingham City Hospital offer a home test finger prick blood test £28. Go to or call 0121 507 4278 for a pack.

Always check with your Doctor if you are taking prescribed medication.

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