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Some Advice for the Summer Months​​​​​​​

It is well known that Vitamin D helps to maintain healthy bones, teeth and muscles.

Some studies do suggest that Vitamin D may help to reduce the infection rates of COVID. Although there is not yet enough evidence to be absolutely sure about these suggestions, it is well known that this vitamin keeps our immune systems healthy.

Vitamin D is produced naturally within our bodies when we expose our skin to the sunlight and it is also absorbed from the food we eat. Vitamin D is synthesized in our skin and activated by UVB radiation; both D2 and D3 need to be converted by the liver and then by the kidneys into the main form of vitamin D that our bodies utilize.

So good food sources of vitamin D are:

  • oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel.
  • red meat.
  • liver.
  • egg yolks.
  • fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals.

If you eat plenty of these foods then you probably don’t need to supplement your levels. However, if like many teenagers you aren’t so keen on foods such as these then it is sensible to supplement with a good quality Vitamin source. In general, this is sound advice for everyone especially those who are elderly, and in particular those who don’t get exposure to reasonable amounts of sunlight. It is also sound advice for those with darker skin to take a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement which contain Vitamin D every day.

We can often inhibit the amount of UV activating properties through the use of total sunblock creams which are regularly used by general population especially for younger children in order to avoid exposure to the sun’s rays. However, if we block out these rays completely then we are inhibiting the properties of UV that are needed to produce this essential vitamin. So rather than using a total sunblock, a high factor will certainly be a better option for the summer; this allows some UV rays to penetrate the barrier cream and come into contact with the skin and activate the production of Vitamin D. In turn this helps us to maintain healthy bones, healthy teeth, muscles and will help to keep our immune systems in tip top condition in preparation for the winter time to come.