Now we are going into Winter with darker days and less sunshine, it’s important that people understand the importance of Vitamin D and getting properly tested if they suspect their levels are low.
The most accurate way to measure how much vitamin D is in your body is the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test. A level of 20 nanograms/milliliter to 50 ng/mL is considered adequate for healthy people. A level less than 12 ng/mL indicates vitamin D deficiency. Some GPs will do a blood test to check your Vitamin D levels. If not, you can purchase one here: https://www.vitamindtest.org.uk.
People more at risk are those:
- not often outdoors – for example, if they’re frail or housebound
- are in an institution like a care home
- often wear clothes that cover up most of their skin when outdoors
- If you have dark skin – for example you have an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background – you may also not make enough vitamin D from sunlight.
Government advice is that everyone should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement during the autumn and winter. Known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight. You can find it in some foods like fish (salmon, sardines, herrings and mackerel), red meats, egg yolks and fortified spreads, dairy and cereals. Severe deficiency can cause rickets in children and soft bones in adults. However, for many people, symptoms are more subtle.
Low levels have been associated with:
- Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Cognitive impairment in older adults
- Severe asthma in children
- Muscle aches and pains
Please find the time to watch Dr. Campbell’s latest video. It may just save your life or that of a loved one.