ABS shows many lack vitamin D, but sun isn't sole solution
IT'S a fine line between exposing yourself to the dangers of too much sunlight and not getting enough.
But for the sake of your health, a happy balance should be found.
New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found that about four-million Australians are deficient in vitamin D, an essential compound in the body this is responsible for bone health, muscle function and helping the body absorb calcium effectively.
Mackay GP Superclinic's Dr John McIntosh said 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight a day was ample.
"It's not saying that you need a lot.... doing things like going to pick up the kids or walking to the car from the grocery store would normally be enough," Dr McIntosh said.
"We don't recommend solving it by getting out and lying in the sun. We recommend supplements because it is safer."
The symptoms of a vitamin D deficient person were often subtle, with sufferers normally complaining of muscle weakness and bone pain, he said.
Dr McIntosh suggested another way of upping your intake was to increase your consumption of fish, cod liver oil, eggs and dairy products, which were all vitamin D-laden.
Sydney St's Red Apple Chemist pharmacist Mike Yang said those who chose the supplement path should go for a product that combined the vitamin with calcium.
He recommended heading outdoors for some sunlight before 8am and after 3pm, which was when the sun's harmful UV rays were weakest. "The sun is too strong between those times, so it's best to stay indoors then," Mr Yang said.
"Vitamin D helps absorb calcium."
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