Are you low in Vitamin D?

November 14, 2018

Are you low in Vitamin D?

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is not technically a vitamin at all, but rather a kind of hormone that is essential for life.  It increases the absorption of calcium from foods in the gut, promotes the healthy growth of bone, and is important for the absorption of iron, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc. It also has beneficial effects on nerve, muscle and immune functions.

Vitamin D deficiency

Normally, Vitamin D is made by your skin following exposure to ultraviolet light in sunlight (UV-B). Overseas, Vitamin D is added to dairy and other foods as a supplement, but in Australia the only mandatorily fortified food in Australia is margarine. Many people have deficiencies due to insufficient sun exposure (due to indoor lifestyles and “Sun Smart” skin cancer prevention) and low dietary intake. During winter in southern Australia (>35ºS in latitude), as much as 58% of the adult population is thought to be Vitamin D deficient. Deficiencies are more common in the elderly population.

In vitamin D deficiency, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen over time — classically seen in the diseases rickets (in children) and osteomalacia (in adults). Older adults are particularly at risk of osteoporosis without sufficient Vitamin D and calcium. Improving vitamin D levels in the elderly reduces their risk of falls and bone fractures, through improving balance and strengthening muscles.

Increasing Vitamin D levels using sunshine

The amount of daily sunshine you need on your skin to make enough Vitamin D depends on your skin colour, your location and the season. For moderately fair-skinned people, adequate vitamin D levels may be achieved through summer exposure of the arms (or equivalent) for 6-7 minutes during mid-morning or mid-afternoon. In winter this is increased to 7 to 40 minutes (the longer times are for more southern latitudes) at noon on most days, with as much bare skin exposed as feasible. People with darker skin require exposures that are 3-6 times longer.

Clearly many people cannot receive sufficient sun exposure, especially during a rainy southern winter. For many Australians, supplementation is advisable for at least a part of the year.

Vitamin D supplementation

If you are prone to Vitamin D deficiency, you should have your levels checked every 3-6 months, or as recommended by a doctor.

A daily oral intake of 600-1,000 IU of Vitamin D3 is sufficient for most people, but higher doses may be required in moderate to severe deficiency. 

Are there any side effects?

Vitamin D supplementation is very unlikely to cause side effects when used as directed, even with high doses. Side effects that have been reported only very rarely include nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, weight loss and kidney damage.

Got questions about Vitamin D?

Why not contact us to learn more?




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in How we can help

Topical Oxymetazoline: A Novel Approach to Treat Rosacea
Topical Oxymetazoline: A Novel Approach to Treat Rosacea

November 04, 2019

Rosacea is a chronic skin complaint affecting the face. It is characterised by small dilated blood vessels and often includes small pustules and papules.

Continue Reading

Arthritis Osteoarthritis pain relief
Arthritis: How to replace your pills with a single cream

June 26, 2019

The compounding pharmacists at Border Compounding Pharmacy use what is known as a Transdermal Cream for arthritic pain. These creams are a specially designed emulsion, designed to push the pain medicine through the skin rapidly.

Continue Reading

cannabidiol over the counter
Cannabidiol over the counter?

June 08, 2019

Everybody’s heard the growing hype around cannabidiol and medicinal marijuana. Whilst the hype often and untruthfully makes them out to be some form of medical panacea, there is strong evidence to demonstrate their effectiveness in pain and inflammation.

Continue Reading

Hello!

Border Compounding Pharmacy

We would love to keep you up to date with what’s happening in our store and all the new exciting products we are formulating.