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Family Health

6 causes of vitamin D deficiency

Given that vitamin D is known to be very good for the immune system and has received much attention for this very fact, we can be left wondering if we are getting enough of this important nutrient. Here I explore 6 common causes of vitamin D deficiency, including:

  1. Insufficient sun exposure
  2. Low food sources as a result of dietary requirements
  3. Poor digestion
  4. Darker skin
  5. A struggling liver
  6. Being overweight

Best approach:

If you’re hoping to strike a sensible balance between getting enough vitamin D whilst looking after your skin, then the advice is as follows:

  • Aim to have short periods of time daily with your face, forearms or lower legs showing during the spring and summer months. This should be in the middle of the day.
  • Don’t be tempted to drown your skin in high factor sun cream, this may only be required if you are going to be in the sun for longer periods of time.
  • It’s not known exactly how much time is needed in the sun for each individual to make enough vitamin D to meet the body’s requirements, as this varies depending on skin tone. But on average, this is recommended to be from as little as 15 minutes daily.
  • The NHS recommends taking 400iu of Vitamin D3 each day.  This can easily be achieved by taking an inexpensive supplement.
  • There is plenty of science and research to suggest taking more than 400iu per day may be a better strategy, especially as Covid-19 continues to cause trouble.
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