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Sunny D - The UK's Vitamin D Deficiency

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I am solar powered. I know I am. The sun came out the other day and I ditched my mountain of work, sprawled out on a blanket in just my pants and enjoyed it. Heaven. Spring is coming and I am so ready for it. The sun makes me feel energised, light and happy and it's magic Vitamin D that I have to thank.

Ah Vitamin D. You've become quite a celebrity recently. You seem to be in every health story I read. The majority of the Vitamin D created in our bodies come from exposure to sunlight and after years of slapping on the factor 50 and worrying about skin cancer, it would appear we have all become D deficient.

Vitamin D is vital for the health of the body and is responsible for healthy immune systems, regulating inflammation, serotonin production and calcium absorption. A deficiency in Vitamin D can cause all kinds of problems including depression, bowel problems, skin conditions, Diabetes, Arthritis and Osteoporosis. And the press has been recently highlighting the link between Vitamin D and Parkinsons, fertility issues, pregnancy problems, and Rickets in kids, a disease that seems to be making a come back.

According to Medical News Today we require 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure at least twice a week on the face, arms, hands, or back without sunscreen. Sounds nice but I reckon the last time most of us Brits had 10 minutes sun exposure was last April when we had that freak hot spell. That's almost a year ago!

Not only do we not have sun in the country, we also live very sheltered lives so even when the sun makes a rare appearance we're never out and about to enjoy it. We hibernate in our offices and houses, our gyms are indoors, our kids play on computers, our groceries are delivered to the door and our shops are in undercover shopping centres. We simply aren't getting the sun exposure we need.

If we're not getting enough Sunny D, should we take a supplement? The NHS recommend the only people who need to take a Vitamin D supplement are

  • all children aged six months to five years old

  • all pregnant and breastfeeding women

  • all people aged 65 and over

  • people who are not exposed to much sun

  • people with darker skins such as people of African-Caribbean and South Asian origin
  • That sounds like just about everyone to me! I recommend taking a natural, easily absorbed supplement such as Natures Sunshine Vitamin D3. And the next time the sun pops out, do yourself a favour and spend ten minutes soaking it up.... I recommend stripping off to your pants for best results.