It’s easy maths.
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“Would you know if you have enough vitamin D?” asks Dr Ginni Mansberg, GP and telly doc, who also runs a busy medical practice in Sydney, “Probably not unless you get a blood test. But it does have some symptoms you might be surprised at.”
The signs she’s referring to, are muscle fatigue and tiredness, as well as a change in blood pressure, among others.
“These are your aches and pains, or not tolerating exercise as much as you used to. That could be a sign. If you have an increase in your blood pressure there is also possibility you have a vitamin D deficiency,” explains Dr Mansberg.
A quick refresher on the importance of this vitamin - D deficiency has now been linked to a long list of diseases including breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, depression, weight gain, and osteoporosis. Yikes.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that one in four Australian adults do not receive adequate amounts of vitamin D.
Why? It’s both hard and easy to get, depending on your lifestyle.
“It’s not a traditional vitamin, you get very little vitamin D from your food. You’re mainly looking at sunshine,” explains Dr Mansberg, who recognises the paradox that Australia is both largely vitamin D deficient and also the melanoma capital of the world.
“Vitamin D actually sits on the UVB spectrum. UVA is for ageing and is from sun up, to sun down. UVB which is the one we used to really freak about because of skin cancer rates, is from 11am to 3pm, which is when we’ve been told to get out of the sun.”
Trouble is it’s also prime time for getting your vitamin D fix.
How much is enough vitamin D?
It’s different for everyone, explains Dr Mansberg, but this is the formula.
“To maintain your vitamin D levels, to keep them where they are, you need to take your burn time divided by 3 per day.
“If you take someone pale, who burns quickly, like me, if I go out in the middle of the day at midday, I’d probably burn in 10 minutes. So in the middle of the day I would need about 3.5 minutes to maintain my vitamin D.
“But if I went out in the sun at 6am it might take me an hour and a half to burn, so the number needs to be 40 minutes. For someone much darker, this number would be much longer,” she says.
In other words, the time you need is related to the amount of melanin in your skin – and it’s also depends on where in Australia you are. For example, if you’re living in Tasmania you’ll need more sun than those in far North Queensland.
If that sounds complicated or impossible to achieve Dr Mansberg recommends looking at supplementation through food.
“Special K breakfast cereals now also contain Vitamin D to help provide a little of the sunshine nutrient in your breakfast bowl,” she says.
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Source : http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/diet/diets/this-doctors-simple-trick-will-tell-you-how-much-vitamin-d-you-actually-need/news-story/40093b1699970840e1dc50badbaa7e83