Dr Jack A T Edmonds MB BS FRCGP

Private General Practitioner

Your Health in Our Hands

120 Harley Street

Phone: 020 7935 5050
Fax: 020 7935 3888
Email: enquiry@drjackedmonds.co.uk

Vitamin D benefits

VITAMIN D – aids calcium absorption and maintain healthy bones and teeth.   Lack of vitamin D leads to rickets, muscle spasms and osteomalacia (weak, softened bones).   There are two types:  D2 known as ergocalciferol and D3, cholecalciferol which is produced naturally by the body on exposure to sunlight.   When converted these substances maintain the calcium balance within the body.   Vitamin D can only be found in a small range of foods namely in oily fish, egg yolks, butter and where breakfast cereals have been fortified.  Strict vegetarians therefore are at a greater risk of deficiency.   It is generally known that Vitamin D is also made through the action of ultraviolet radiation from the sun to penetrate the skin.  Prolonged non exposure to sunshine and lack of Vitamin D in the diet leads to bone problems.   In children this is in the form of rickets and in adults weak bones. 

NICE guidelines aim to prevent Vitamin D deficiency in the ‘at risk’ groups namely infants and children under 5, pregnant and breastfeeding women, people over 65 or anyone who has low or no exposure to the sun and also people with darker skin.   In the UK winter months there is little ultraviolet sunlight for skin synthesis and the body relies on the body stores from the summer and dietary sources to maintain its vitamin D levels.   This is not always achievable so a dietary supplement is recommended from October to March.

Prevention is better than cure so make sure you are getting as much Vitamin D through your diet, exposure to sunlight and/or include a supplement for the following reasons:  maintain the normal function of the immune system and muscle function together with assisting with the absorption and utilisation of calcium for healthy bones and teeth.   Vitamin D also plays a part in the process of cell division.

News - BBC Health