With the fantastic weather of late around Manly, I thought that it was appropriate that we discuss the topic of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D sometimes referred as the “sunshine vitamin” as the name suggests, forms in the skin when it is exposed to Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. Once linked to only bone diseases such as rickets and osteoporosis, Vitamin D is now recognized as a major player in overall human health.
Due to our sedentary lifestyles, which are increasingly being spent indoors, and the emphasis on the harmful effects of UV radiation, some experts believe that up to 80% of Australians are Vitamin D deficient.
In a paper published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Anthony Norman, an international expert on vitamin D, identifies vitamin D’s potential for contributions to good health in the adaptive and innate immune systems, the secretion and regulation of insulin by the pancreas, the heart and blood pressure regulation, muscle strength and brain activity.
Many scientists believe 15 minutes of sun exposure (void of sunscreen) per day is both achievable and healthful. Foods rich in Vitamin D (oily fish like salmon, mackerel, bluefish, catfish, sardines and tuna) or vitamin D3 supplements can also help to support your bodies requirements.
An appropriate take home health message for vitamin D needs to balance the need for sunshine against the risk of skin cancer.