People should go outside and soak up some sunshine to help increase their vitamin D levels, a charity is urging.
Arthritis Research UK says vitamin D deficiency can cause bone loss, muscle function problems and, in some cases, rickets in children.
The government recommends vitamin D supplements for pregnant women and children aged under five.
But, on sunny days, a few minutes outdoors should achieve the same results, the charity says.
In January the chief medical officer for England said she was concerned that young children and some adults were not getting enough vitamin D.
Figures show that up to a quarter of the population has low levels of vitamin D in their blood and the majority of pregnant women do not take vitamin D supplements. People aged over 65, pregnant and breast-feeding women and children aged six months to five years old are thought to be most at risk. …
Vitamin D is essential to help the body absorb calcium from food. Low levels can result in serious problems with the health of our bones. Alan Silman, medical director of Arthritis Research UK, said the advice was simple: “When the days are sunny, go out for a few minutes and expose your face and arms to the sunshine.” But he also had a warning on overexposure: “Don’t allow your skin to go red, and take care not to burn, particularly in strong sunshine and if you have fair or sensitive skin.
“From June to August just 15 minutes is generally enough time.”
The sun’s UV levels are not yet strong enough over the UK for our bodies alone to make enough vitamin D. He said: “In less sunny months, we recommend that people top up the vitamin D in their diet by eating more oily fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, pilchards and sardines, and foods ‘fortified’ with vitamin D, such as breakfast cereals and some margarines.” …
What are healthy levels of Vitamin D?
Because vitamin D can come from sun, food, and supplements, the best measure of one’s vitamin D status is blood levels of a form known as 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Levels are described in either nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) or nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL), where 1 nmol/L = 0.4 ng/mL.
In general, levels below 30 nmol/L (12 ng/mL) are too low for bone or overall health, and levels above 125 nmol/L (50 ng/mL) are probably too high. Levels of 50 nmol/L or above (20 ng/mL or above) are sufficient for most people.
By these measures, some Americans are vitamin D deficient and almost no one has levels that are too high. In general, young people have higher blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D than older people and males have higher levels than females. By race, non-Hispanic blacks tend to have the lowest levels and non-Hispanic whites the highest. The majority of Americans have blood levels lower than 75 nmol/L (30 ng/mL). – nih.gov
Another source says:
The current daily recommended allowance varies with age from 200 to 600 international units (IU), a standard set by the Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences in 1997. Randomized trials have since found that individuals receiving 800 IU per day had a lower risk of osteoporosis fractures, while 400 IU per day did not show this benefit. Most experts now believe 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day from all sourcesâ€”sun, diet, supplementsâ€”may be what we need for optimum health.
The body is smart: It makes no more vitamin D than it needs. But a total intake greater than 2,000 IU per day has generally not been recommended. This upper limit, imposed for safetyâ€™s sake, is probably very conservative. Recent evidence suggests that even doses upwards of 10,000 IU a day arenâ€™t toxic, though such high intakes are not recommended. …
Q: What are the best sources of vitamin D?
A: The sun is the most potent source. When the sunâ€™s ultraviolet rays hit the skin, the skin makes the vitamin, which is rapidly absorbed in the blood and can be stored for several months, mostly in the blood and fat tissue. This is why itâ€™s hard to figure out how much supplemental vitamin D people might need. …harvard.edu
Q: How many IU’s of vitamin D does an average person’s body make from being in the sun for 30 minutes on a non-cloudy day? A: 30 minutes of full-body exposure to the summer sun at noon without sunscreen will triggers the release of aboutÂ 20,000 IU into the bloodstream, most of which is stored according to a Harvard nutrition department web site (2007).
If you spend a fair amount of time outdoors, you probably donâ€™t need a vitamin D supplement. A light-skinned person living in Boston who takes walks in the summer with the face, neck, and arms exposed for 15 minutes gets enough. … Someone dark-skinned would, with the same exposure, generate about half or less as much vitamin D. – harvard.edu
I had a blood test which showed low Vitamin D levels (under 30 ng/mL) and I’m having another test to confirm the first one. If I’m still low, I’ll try supplements when there is no sunlight. My overall goal is being sick less.Â I had a sore throat on Friday, took a few 2,000 IU capsules of vitamin D over the weekend and the sore throat went away instead of turning into a flu as it has in the past.