Top up your vitamin D during this hot spell

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Whilst warnings are going out to keep covered up in the sun, sunlight actually provides us with much needed vitamin D to avoid the risk of osteomalacia, which can cause muscle weakness, bone pain and fractures.

Limited amounts of vitamin D can be found in certain foods such as oily fish, red meat, fortified cereals and eggs, however there is concern that relying on foods alone as a source is not sufficient and research carried out by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) suggests that everyone over the age of one needs to consume 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day to protect bone and muscle health.

Most of us should be able to get all the vitamin D we require from the sunlight during the Spring and Summer months, however it is made by our body from a reaction to the sunlight under our skin, therefore those of us that keep covered up or apply sunscreen as per manufacturer’s instructions could be at risk of not getting enough.

Short bursts of sunlight direct to the skin, without sunscreen are recommended in order to get enough vitamin D, cover up before you get burnt though. It is important to get a balance though as too much vitamin D can lead to high levels of calcium which may result in kidney or heart problems.

Those of us, who keep covered up, have little exposure to the sun or during winter months may wish to take a vitamin D supplement to limit the risks. NHS UK recommends that people from minority ethnic groups with dark skin consider taking a supplement throughout the year.

If you or a family member is concerned about bone or joint problems you may wish to seek advice from our Orthopaedic Consultants.

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