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NHS Advisory Body Calls for Greater Vitamin D Awareness

After a long, dull and dreary week we don’t need reminding of how little sunshine we are receiving here in the UK. However, this week an important message has been raised by the NHS advisory body, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) about the impact low levels of vitamin D can have on our health. It is crucial that we are all aware of this information.

Why We Need Vitamin D

Approximately 10 million people in England are likely to have low vitamin D levels. This is around a fifth of adults and a sixth of children. Vitamin D is needed by the body to keep bones and teeth strong and to support a healthy immune system.

Our main source of vitamin D is through unprotected exposure to sunlight which is why this much needed vitamin has been dubbed the 'sunshine vitamin'. Between October and April the sun is too low in the sky for us to natural synthesise vitamin D, it is just not possible during winter unless you jet off to warmer climes. At this time of year supplements can help keep your body topped up.

Who Are Most At Risk?

Certain groups of the UK population have been highlighted as ‘at risk’ of low vitamin levels and should take a daily supplement, these are…

  • Children under 5
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • People over 65
  • People who have low or no exposure to the sun
  • People with darker skin

NICE are calling for us to spread the word about the 'sunshine vitamin' to help keep Britain healthy this winter. So have a think about your vitamin D levels, do you need to top yours up? Is there someone in your family you think should be taking a vitamin D supplement? Let’s get everyone talking and doing something about vitamin D!

To find out more about this week’s announcement you can read more on the NICE website or at BBC News.

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