Victorian Institute of Sport

How are your vitamin D levels?

Saturday, 04 June 2016

Vitamin D is essential as it plays a key role in the absorption of calcium to optimise bone health. Studies have shown that ongoing vitamin D deficiencies can lead to rickets in children and osteomalacia (soft bones) in adults.  Vitamin D also plays a role in maintaining a healthy immune system, healthy skin and muscle strength.

Who is at risk of vitamin D deficiency?  Those identified as ‘at risk’ of vitamin D deficiency include those who have darker skin, spend most their time inside or train and compete indoors, live in southern areas of Australia (in winter), and/or have diets low in fat.

Where do you get vitamin D?  The main source comes from sunlight on the skin, with dietary sources also contributing.  Although vitamin D requirements can’t be met by diet alone, good dietary sources of vitamin D include oily fish (salmon, herring and mackerel), margarine, some fortified milk and UV exposed mushrooms.

If you’re considered to be at risk of vitamin D deficiency, it’s a good idea to visit your GP and have a blood test to check your vitamin D levels. 

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