Vitamin D supplements?
Some people are at risk of vitamin D deficiency including:
- the elderly;
- those who are house-bound or in residential care;
- naturally dark-skinned people;
- people who work indoors (office, factory, night shift workers)
- people who cover themselves for medical, cultural or religious reasons and
- babies of vitamin D deficient mothers.
If you’re in any of these categories, you should speak to your doctor about vitamin D supplements as you may need a supplement.
If you are taking a vitamin D supplement, the Healthy Bones Australia Calculator will take this into account. All you need to do is tick that you have taken a Vitamin Supplement today.
Does sun screen reduce my absorption of Vitamin D?
Sensible sun protection doesn’t put people at risk of Vitamin D deficiency. Regular use of sunscreen in real life has been shown to have little effect on Vitamin D levels, even though sunscreen has been shown to block vitamin D production in labs. It’s thought that people who use sunscreen tend to spend more time in the sun so naturally they will have higher vitamin D levels.
When do I need to wear sun protection?
Most Australians need sun protection when the UV Index is 3 or above. The UV index is an international standard measurement of the strength of UV radiation from the sun at a particular place on a particular day.
UV levels are low in the early morning as the sun comes up. They gradually increase to a peak at around the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest and then slowly decrease again as the sun gets lower in the sky.
In the northern parts of Australia UV levels are above 3 all year round and reach 14 in summer, so sun protection is needed daily.
In the southern parts of our country, there are times of the year when sun protection is not necessary. For example in Melbourne the average daily UV levels remain below 3 from May to August. Sun protection is only necessary if you are at high altitudes or in highly reflective environments like the snow.
For more information on SunSafe practises go to www.sunsmart.com.au