Vitamin D helps keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy by regulating the among of calcium and phosphate in the body. A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities in children, such as rickets, and bone pain in adults. The UK is currently under lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus, and as such, many people may not be getting enough vitamin D from sunlight from being indoors most of the day.
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So how can you know if you’re getting enough vitamin D?
Vitamin D deficiency can trigger a number of symptoms – so it may be worth looking out for these.
Cleveland Clinic says vitamin D deficiency isn’t obvious, but you may experience mood changes, bone loss, muscle cramps, bone and joint pain and fatigue.
To get enough vitamin D, people should look to certain foods, supplements and carefully planned sunlight.
The NHS has issued a coronavirus update advising people to: “Consider taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day to keep your bones and muscles healthy.”
It adds: “There have been some news reports about vitamin D reducing the risk of coronavirus.
“However, there is no evidence that this is the case.
“You can buy vitamin D supplements at most pharmacies and supermarkets.
“Do not buy more than you need.”
Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods.
- Oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel
- Red meat
- Egg yolks
- Fortified foods – such as most far spreads and some breakfast cereals
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It’a not known exactly how much time is needed in the sun to make enough vitamin D to meet the body’s requirements.
The NHS explains: “This is because there are a number of factors that an affect how vitamin D is made, such as your skin colour or how much skin you have exposed.
“But you should be careful not to burn in the sun, so take care to cover up or protect your skin with sunscreen before your skin starts to turn red or burn.”
Police guidelines for UK lockdown allow people to go outside for exercise, so it may be worth considering doing this during daylight hours to up your vitamin D levels.
It should be noted a person can get too much vitamin D through taking too many supplements, and this can lead to severe health problems.
Taking more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day over a long period of time can cause too much calcium to build up in the body.
This can weaken bones and damage the kidneys and the heart.
You cannot overdose on vitamin D through exposure to sunlight.
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