Discover the link between vitamin D deficiency and osteoporosis. Learn how to prevent it through sun exposure, diet and supplements. Expert advice from a nutritionist.
As a nutritionist, I'm often asked about vitamin D deficiency and how to prevent it. This essential vitamin is important for our overall health and well-being, but many people are deficient. Vitamin D plays a key role in maintaining strong bones and teeth, and a deficiency can increase the risk of osteoporosis, general infections and inflammation.
One of the best ways to get vitamin D is through sun exposure. Our bodies produce vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight. However, it can be difficult to get enough sun exposure, particularly in the winter months or if you live in a climate with less sun. In addition, the use of sunscreen can also reduce the amount of vitamin D our body can produce. A good measure of when to use sunscreen is the UV rating. At a UV rating of 3 or above, sunscreen is recommended if you are out in the sun for long periods of time. A UV rating of 2 and below, it is not recommended to wear sunscreen, for optimal endogenous production of vitamin D.
Another way to get vitamin D is through food. However, it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone. Foods that are high in vitamin D include fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna, as well as egg yolks and mushrooms.
Taking a vitamin D supplement is a good way to ensure that you're getting enough of this essential nutrient. However, it's important to talk to your GP or a qualified nutritionist before starting any new supplement regimen.
In conclusion, vitamin D deficiency is linked to poor bone health and can increase the risk of osteoporosis. To prevent this, it's important to get regular sun exposure or take a supplement. If you're concerned about your vitamin D intake or think you may be at risk of a deficiency, I recommend speaking to your GP or one of our qualified nutritionists at MP Nutrition for personalized advice. Don't hesitate to seek professional help to ensure your overall health and well-being.
- National Institutes of Health. Vitamin D. Available at: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/. Accessed January 25, 2023.
- Holick MF. Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;80(6 Suppl):1678S-1688S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/80.6.1678S
- World Health Organization. Vitamin D supplementation in infants. Available at: https://www.who.int/elena/titles/vitamind_infants/en/. Accessed January 25, 2023.
- National Osteoporosis Foundation. Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age. Available at: https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/calciumvitamin-d/. Accessed January 25, 2023.
- The American Society for Clinical Nutrition. Overview of general physiologic features and functions of vitamin D. Available at: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/80/6/1689S/4690529. Accessed January 25, 2023.
What is vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency is a condition in which the body doesn't have enough vitamin D to maintain healthy bones and teeth.
What are the effects of vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
How can vitamin D deficiency be prevented?
Vitamin D deficiency can be prevented by getting regular sun exposure or taking a supplement.
What are good food sources of vitamin D?
Foods that are high in vitamin D include fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna, as well as egg yolks and mushrooms.
Is it safe to take a vitamin D supplement?
It's important to talk to your GP or a qualified nutritionist before starting any new supplement regimen.