Vitamin D- In a sunburnt country how are we deficient

Vitamin D is essential for our health. It has many functions within the human body, such as helping the immune system run smoothly and managing the absorption of phosphorus and calcium. Recent studies also show that Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a higher risk of heart attacks, multiple sclerosis, musculoskeletal conditions, type one diabetes, arthritis, mental health conditions, leaky gut, and autoimmune conditions such as Hashimotos thyroiditis. So it’s not difficult to see why Vitamin D should be a top priority in your everyday regimen.

A large percentage of the world’s population is Vitamin D deficient. It is estimated that about 35-70% of people around the globe are not taking in the amount of Vitamin D that is required of them to maintain their health. You’re most likely asking yourself how that is even remotely possible. We all know how vital Vitamin D is to our health, yet the statistics indicate it isn’t a primary concern to most of us. Or maybe some individuals just don’t realize how important this vitamin is to their health.

Why are we lacking in vitamin D?  In the 90’s there was a huge SLIP, SLOP, SLAP campaign- Slip on a shirt, Slop on the 30+ sunscreen, Slap on a hat, this alongside the over use of sunscreen and we can see how this plays a major role in the development of Vitamin D deficiency. You can find sunscreen in all sorts of beauty products including make-up and tanning lotion and most people apply sunscreen when they are revealing themselves to sunlight so that they can avoid getting burnt, but sunscreen can be extremely detrimental to your skin and overall health. Contrary to popular belief not all sunscreens protect you from skin cancer, some chemicals in sunscreen have been linked to melanoma, a type of skin cancer that is awfully dangerous. In addition to melanoma many of these chemicals from sunscreen amass around the ocean and are highly virulent. This can have an irreversible effect on the marine ecosystem, so please be mindful when using sunscreens and exposing yourself and your family to the sunlight. Always check out your health food store for natural sunscreen’s that contain little to no chemicals and remember to avoid exposure for long periods of time and during the hottest part of the day (11am-2pm). Become sun-smart; don’t over expose yourself, wear protective clothing, source more natural sunscreens and avoid the sunshine when it is at its hottest.

As vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin a deficiency can develop slowly over time without many obvious symptoms.  Research states that you may be deficient if you generally feel unwell, have low energy and feel fatigued, have bone pain or muscle weakness. As you can see these symptoms are very broad and could be caused by multiple factors. Therefore to avoid a deficiency, it is imperative that we go outside and come in contact with the sun for at least 10-15 minutes a day. People with lighter skin will get more sun exposure, and higher levels of Vitamin D, as for the darker skin population, they produce more melanin in their skin, thus limiting the ability to effectuate Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. For this reason people will lighter skin need less sun exposure to get their vitamin D, while those with darker skin need much more sun to get the same amount. So if you work indoors Monday to Friday with no sun exposure during your lunch time break, you may be deficient! Vitamin D deficiency is becoming a serious concern for the people of Australia, and it should not be taken lightly. If you are unable to achieve your daily dose of sunshine or suspect that you may be deficient, feel free to speak to us about other ways you can increase your vitamin D status.