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  • walliswallis May 2016
    Why a vitamin D deficiency is wreaking havoc on your health

    Australia is famously known as the "sunburnt country", so it might surprise you to learn that according to data from the Bureau of Statistics around one quarter of Aussie adults are vitamin D deficient, and it's seeing our health slide.

    Vitamin D, also known as the "sunshine vitamin", is primarily responsible for helping the body to absorb calcium, which in turn supports muscle function and strong bones, helping to prevent serious illnesses like osteoporosis and Ray Ban outlet rickets.

    Additionally, vitamin D plays a role in everything from boosted Ray Ban outlet immune function and improved mood, to weight loss and decreased inflammation but only when you're getting enough of it.

    GP Dr Caroline Hardy tells ninemsn Coach that the consequences of vitamin D deficiency have been largely underestimated, with the condition also associated with what can be life threatening diseases; multiple sclerosis, some cancers, diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune disease, to name just a few.

    But the real concern is that most people suffering from a mild deficiency may not realise it's even developing, with tell tale signs often going unnoticed.

    "Most people don't recognise a vitamin D deficiency, as the symptoms, like depleted energy, muscle and bone pain, low mood, anxiety and sweating of the head, can be vague," Dr Hardy says.

    She adds that while we should all be on the lookout for such symptoms, it's important to know if you are at higher risk of developing a deficiency. Naturally dark skinned individuals, those aged over 50 years, breastfed babies with a vitamin D deficient mum, those with minimal exposure to the sun due to frailty, disability, religious custom, or office work, and people suffering from medically diagnosed conditions like Coeliac disease, obesity and cystic fibrosis, should all be wary of letting their levels of vitamin D dip.

    But Ray Ban outlet store locations it's not all doom and gloom there are some simple measures you can take to ensure you're maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D and see your health flourish for it.

    "One of the most effective ways to increase levels of vitamin D in the body is to expose a greater amount of skin to safe levels of UV light for shorter periods of time, either in early morning or evening light to prevent sunburn and skin damage," Dr Hardy recommends.

    The Cancer Council agrees that the best source of vitamin D is UVB radiation from the sun so long as it's kept in check.

    "While skin specialists finally agree on safe sun exposure, it varies from person to person. Naturally dark skinned individuals, for example, need three to six times more sun exposure than those with fair skin, while those who exercise regularly will absorb vitamin D faster than those who don't especially those working out on Ray Ban outlet online reflective surfaces like water or snow, in which case sunscreen ray ban 8301 sale should be applied sooner," Dr Hardy says.

    During the cooler months, it also helps to bolster your intake of vitamin D through diet, though Accredited Practicing Dietician Melanie McGrice tells ninemsn Coach we should bear in mind that it's difficult to meet our vitamin D requirements through food alone.