Australians are in the dark about vitamin D. Research shows that despite our sunny climate, at least a third of Australians on average are vitamin D deficient in the warmer months and almost half of Australians have a deficiency in winter.
More than four in five (84%) Australians don’t know they can achieve vitamin D through food they eat and many Aussies aren’t aware of the health risks associated with low vitamin D levels. These include muscle weakness (increase risk of falls), osteoporosis, fatigue and poor immune function which currently affects more than 1.2 million Australians.
What is Vitamin D?
Although widely known as a vitamin D, this particular vitamin behaves more like a hormone. It is primarily known for its role in bone health by helping the body absorb calcium. It is also needed to quell inflammation, bolster the immune system and protect against certain cancers.
Need to know facts about Vitamin D:
- 6/10 females and 4/10 males are deficient during winter
- Southern of Australia parts are more at risk
- Vitamin D deficiency is highest after winter
- 18-34 year old are most likely vitamin D deficient
How do I get the vitamin D I need?
There are three ways to get this much needed vitamin:
Food sources. Vitamin D is found in small quantities in a few foods. These include mushrooms, oily fish, eggs and fortified milk.
Sunlight. Treat the sun like medication, using the lowest dose necessary, but don’t avoid it completely. You only need to expose your skin forÂ about 10 minutes a day, depending on the UV index, your skin type and age. In summer you might drop this down to two minutes and up to 20 minutes in winter.
Supplementation. If this sun exposure is not possible, then a vitamin D supplement is recommended. Always speak to your doctor first before taking any supplements.