The Sunshine Vitamin

We Canberrans are fortunate to enjoy plentiful sunshine all year round. You’d think we‘d be getting plenty of nature’s ‘sunshine vitamin’ yet at least 58% of us are deficient in vitamin D. That high number is alarming when placed next to the growing mountain of evidence linking vitamin D deficiency with an increased risk of so many health concerns including:

  • Cancers of the breast, ovary, prostate, colon.

  • Leukemia

  • Diabetes types 1 and 2

  • Osteoporosis

  • fibromyalgia

  • chronic fatigue syndrome

  • autoimmune illnesses including MS and rheumatoid arthritis

  • Colds & flus

  • Infertility

  • Rickets

If you work indoors and don’t get some exposure to sunlight on a regular basis (free of wearing sunscreens and makeup), it's quite possible that you are compromising your health. Given the prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency it’s a good idea to talk to your GP about checking your levels via a blood test.

If you want to boost your Vitamin D, there are a number of natural food sources including milk, eggs and fatty fish such as herring, mackerel, sardines and tuna. However, it's extremely hard to get all of the vitamin D that you need to experience your best health without some exposure to sunlight.

Vitamin D is made in the body when UV light comes into direct contact with your skin. Whilst we’re highly aware that too much exposure to sunlight can expose us to the dangers of skin cancer, an avoidance of all sun is also risky. Aim for 5–15 minutes of sunlight 4–6 times a week on bare skin (arms, legs, face and back) without sunscreen.

For more significant depletion of Vitamin D, dietary changes and exposure to sunlight aren’t enough. In this case your health practitioner will suggest a supplement. Look for the vastly superior D3 rather than its cheaper and less effective synthetic D2. Get your vitamin D levels right and you’ll indeed be basking in good health.