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D is for Vitamin D

Not technically a vitamin but a product of a reaction in the skin as a result of exposure to sunlight, vitamin D is one of the most talked about micronutrients of our time. The so call sunshine vitamin helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body which are needed to keep our bones, muscles and teeth healthy. Only a small number of foods contain vitamin D including oily fish, red meat, eggs and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, spreads and non dairy milks so the majority of our vitamin D needs to be obtained from sunlight, which if you live in the UK can be tricky, especially in the winter! ☔❄ . For that reason current advice is that everyone in the UK should take a daily 10mcg supplement in autumn and winter. In the summer around 15 minutes a day without sunscreen and arms and legs exposed is enough sunlight exposure for most people to top up their vitamin D level however people with darker skin will need longer. Everyone should ensure safe sun exposure though and ensure they don't burn. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults and with ongoing research exploring a link between vitamin D deficiency and chronic conditions like MS and dementia it's likely that further benefits of vitamin D are yet to be discovered 😎

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