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Vitamin D: Are You Getting Enough

Vitamin D is receiving increasing coverage as more and more information is released on its role in preventing a number of serious health conditions. Vitamin D is a nutrient that we get from the sun - it is produced endogenously (inside our bodies) by exposure to ultra violet (UV) rays.

Australia-wide, the population is becoming increasingly deficient in this vitamin - even here in the Sunshine State! This has been evidenced by an alarming rise in conditions such as rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.

Why is Vitamin D so important?

Vitamin D is a vital component of many body processes. These include:

  • Calcium absorption and bone mineralisation - this is particularly important in women and those with low bone density.
  • Immune function - low levels of vitamin D have been linked to auto immune conditions and chronic ill health.
  • Cardiovascular health - low vitamin D has been linked to increased arterial stiffness... in other words a heart attack waiting to happen.
  • Blood sugar metabolism and weight management - a recent Australian study showed that people with low vitamin D were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
  • Long term health management - vitamin D is an important risk factor in such serious conditions as multiple sclerosis, asthma, Parkinson's disease, allergies, anaphylaxis and some cancers.

How do you know if you're low on vitamin D?

A blood test is the easiest way to check your D status. This is a simple process that can be requested through your GP or here through the clinic. We can refer you directly to QML for a test (approximately $38), which will show conclusively whether you are deficient.

How do you get back to a healthy level?

The most obvious way to increase vitamin D is by increasing sun exposure, but for some people this is not possible or not recommend.

A mild deficiency can be markedly improved by increasing dietary calcium and enjoying short, regular periods of sun exposure - such as sitting in the sunshine to eat your breakfast each morning.

A significant deficiency, however, will require supplementation - sometimes for many months before being re-tested. It is important to discuss this with you practitioner, which will ensure you get an appropriate and effective dose.

 

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