One in five Britons could be affected by a Vitamin D deficiency according to the NHS who has recommended that supplements should be offered out more freely.
Vitamin D has been dubbed the "sunshine vitamin"
The guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggest that’s changing indoor lifestyles means people on the UK could be putting themselves at risk of Vitamin D deficiency.
A lack of exposure to sunlight could be putting millions at risk of deficiency, which can lead to an increased risk of developing osteoporosis and cancer in adults and rickets in children. The chief medical officer has only recently expressed his concern about the rising number of cases of rickets in children.
It is thought that children are spending more time indoors on computers and gaming consoles and not enough time outside in the sunshine.
Vitamin D is found in oily fish, red meat, egg yolk and some fortified foods such as breakfast cereals; however sunlight is the best source.
Experts have extrapolated further and suggested our tendency to stay indoors more often, especially during the winter months, means many people are not getting sufficient exposure.
Professor Mike Kelly, Director of the NICE Centre for Public Health, said: “Vitamin D is essential for skeletal growth and bone health. Severe vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets in children and soft bones in adults, which causes pain.
“Around 1 in 5 adults may have low vitamin D levels, such as the elderly and people with darker skin, and so are at risk of these conditions. The main natural sources of Vitamin D are through the action of sunlight on the skin, so people who aren’t able to create enough vitamin in this way may need dietary supplements. “
Following the guidance from NICE, it has been suggested that free supplements for Vitamin D could be prescribed for those at risk. Children under the age of 5 and the elderly are seen as the most vulnerable and experts are concerned about the five-fold rise in rickets over the past 15 years.
The disease was virtually wiped out in the 1990s but a resurgence of rickets which can cause brittle bones and sometimes heart failure has troubled health experts.
Eating well and exercising regularly can reduce your health insurance premiums by offering cashback for a healthy lifestyle.
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