12 Common Diseases Caused by Vitamin D Deficiency

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Vitamin D deficiency is more common than you may think. In fact, it is so common that The American Journal of Clinical NutritionIt called it a world wide problem which is recognized as a pandemic.  Also a survey in the UK showed that more than half of adults in the UK did not have enough vitamin D, and in the winter and spring about 1 in 6 people have a severe deficiency.

What is vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for a good overall health and plays an important role in making sure our muscles, heart, lungs and brain function well. Our body can make its own vitamin D from sunlight. You can also get vitamin D from supplements, and a very small amount comes from a few foods you eat, such as some fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks and in fortified dairy, cereals and grain products.

What makes vitamin D unique compared to other vitamins is that your body can make its own vitamin D when you expose your skin to sunlight, whereas you need to get other vitamins from the foods you eat.

How long should you spend in the sun to get enough vitamin D?

Finding out how long to stay in the sun in order to produce enough amounts of vitamin D can be very tricky and is different for every person, hence there isn’t one recommendation for everyone. The reason for that is that the amount of time you need to spend in the sun for your skin to make enough vitamin D depends on a number of factors, such as how dark your skin is or how easily you get sunburnt, the thickness of the ozone layer, the time of the year and what time of day it is.

It is believed that short daily period of sun exposure without sunscreen (about 10-15 minutes for lighter-skinned people) during the summer months is enough for most people to make enough vitamin D. Evidence suggests that the most effective time of day for vitamin D production is between 11am and 3pm. The larger the area of skin that is exposed to sunlight, the more chance there is of making enough vitamin D before you start to burn.

 Read for the common causes for lack of vitamin D on the next page.
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