One of the most vital roles of Vitamin D is protecting your bones, both by helping your body absorb calcium and by supporting muscles needed to avoid falls.
Vitamin D is made in the skin when exposed to ultraviolet B rays. In children and adults exposure of the hands, face and arms to the sun for 10 to 15 minutes per day is usually sufficient for most individuals.
Your vitamin D levels are likely to change throughout the year with concentrations being highest in late summer and lowest at the end of winter.
An increasing body of evidence suggests that on a global level, vitamin D deficiency is widespread, even in very sunny countries such as in the Middle East and parts of Australasia. In Australia, generally older people who are housebound or have limited mobility are at a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency.
On its own, vitamin D does not prevent fractures, but when combined with calcium, it has been shown to reduce fracture risk in older people.
Although exposure to sunlight is the main source of vitamin D, a limited number of foods contain small amounts of the vitamin such as oily fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring as well as liver, egg yolks and some fortified products. Vitamin D supplements are also recommended for managing low vitamin D levels.
To determine your vitamin D levels, please consult a doctor. For general advice on vitamins speak to one of our pharmacists.
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