Are you getting enough Vitamin D According to Public Health England, a nutrient deficiency is lurking in our midst and is putting our bones at risk.
The nutrient is vitamin D, which we make in our bodies in response to sunshine as well as getting it from the diet. Here, we'll look at why we fail to get enough of this important nutrient, the risks to our health, and what we can do about it. Vitamin D: the factsIt's a vitamin in food but acts as a hormone inside our bodies90% of our vitamin D stores come from regular sun exposure. Just 10% comes from the dietMost of us need 10 15 minutes of sunshine on the face and arms to make enough vitamin DWe make no vitamin D from October to March due to the sun's low position in the skyMore than 200 genes in the human body are influenced by vitamin oakley sunglasses cheap sale D suggesting that it has many roles beyond bone health Ticking timebomb for bone healthNo one was much interested in vitamin D a few decades ago. The age of rickets had passed and most of the British population was getting enough vitamin D from normal exposure to the sun or so we thought. Then, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey reported the shocking fact that around one in five adults and teenagers was, in fact, deficient in vitamin D. Cue, a lengthy study by the government's expert nutrition panel, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), which finally reported this year. More From Stay well this winter 20 articles The findings showed widespread vitamin D deficiency which could be putting our bone health at risk since vitamin D is vital for the uptake of calcium into the bone matrix the scaffolding that keeps our bones strong. Concern about bone health is well placed since osteoporosis a bone condition leading to a high risk of fractures affects more than three million adults in the UK, mostly women. Each year, the NHS treats around half a million fragility fractures directly linked to weak bones in older people. He says: "Women who had the highest intake of vitamin D reduced their risk of developing multiple sclerosis by 41% and rheumatoid arthritis by 44%. Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with peripheral vascular disease which is associated with the painful muscle cramping associated with activity. The Nurses' Health Study at Harvard University revealed that women who had the highest intake of vitamin D reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by almost 50%." The MS link is gaining traction as the condition is far more common in northerly parts of the world where sunshine is in short supply. According to the MS society, investigating vitamin D supplementation is one of their top 10 research priorities. Another charity, the US Vitamin D Council, has linked low levels of vitamin D with autoimmune conditions, such as type 1 diabetes. Interestingly, European law allows foods rich in vitamin D oakley sunglasses blue to claim that they support normal immune function. Vitamin D recommendationsBirth to 1 year: 8.5 to 10 micrograms dailyAll babies should receive a daily supplement of vitamin D unless they are having more than 500ml of formula milk per day. Public Health England has come out firmly for a national vitamin D recommendation, supplements are back in vogue, and doctors are warning of a resurgence oakley sunglasses for men of childhood rickets in some communities. Conspicuously absent, however, is any agreement on how much sun is necessary during summer to help us get enough vitamin D. Understandably, cancer doctors are cautious about this to avoid a rush for the beach. However, some experts believe that around 10 15 minutes of sun on the face and arms is enough to stimulate vitamin D in the body without risking sunburn. People with darker skins will need more time in the sun but should still take care not to burn as this increases the risk of skin cancer. Natural sourcesGiven the dangers of sunburn, it's tempting to go for dietary sources of vitamin D but these are limited in variety. The best natural source by a mile is oily fish but less than a quarter of people eat this on a regular basis. Egg yolks and liver are also good sources, while there is a small amount of vitamin D in red meats. Fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals and yogurts contain added vitamin D but you need to check the label to see how much is in there. Dietary sources of vitamin D1 herring fillet, 19mcg1 fresh salmon fillet, 9 mcg1 can of salmon, 14 mcg1 mackerel fillet, 12mcg1 serving of fresh tuna, 5mcg2 eggs, 3.4mcg100g lamb's liver, 0.9 mcg1 small bowl of fortified breakfast cereal, 1.3 mcgThe most reliable option if you don't eat these foods very often is a daily supplement, either as a multivitamin, single vitamin or cod liver oil. Check with your pharmacist to make sure that the product contains the recommended 10 microgram dose. 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