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Pale skinned people and those who take steroids at risk of vitamin D deficiency

Published on 04/10/2011

Health insurance customers may be interested to hear that experts have warned that people with pale skin who are prone to sunburn may need to take vitamin D supplements.

A team at the University of Leeds looked at 1,200 people. Out of the 730 of these who had lower than normal vitamin D levels, the majority had pale, freckled skin.

Whilst a level of less than 25nmol/L in the blood is considered a deficiency, experts increasingly believe that levels below 60nmol/L may also be damaging to health.

Vitamin D is important for good health, growth and strong bones and teeth. It can naturally be obtained by sunlight, but is also found in oily fish, eggs, and fortified foods.

Low levels of the vitamin have been linked with poorer survival rates from breast cancer and conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

Vitamin D supplements are already recommended for people who wear full body covering, people with darker skin, and vulnerable groups like the elderly, young and pregnant.

This is the first time fair skinned people have been included in this group. The study, funded by Cancer Research UK, indicated that pale skinned people may not be able to make enough of the vitamin from sunlight.

Hazel Nunn, of Cancer Research UK, said: "People with fair skin are at higher risk of developing skin cancer and should take care to avoid over-exposure to the sun's rays.

"If people are concerned about their vitamin D levels, they should see their doctor who may recommend a vitamin D test."

Researchers say it may be too soon to start recommending supplements as a necessity, but people can take up to 10 micrograms a day of extra vitamin D without any side effects.

This comes after news that oral steroids cause a vitamin D deficiency. The study on 31,000 people in the journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests that physicians should monitor vitamin D levels more closely in patients being treated with oral steroids.

Health conscious people should compare health insurance quotes online now to get peace of mind about their future health.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  Health
Pale skinned people and those who take steroids at risk of vitamin D deficiency Health insurance customers may be interested to hear that experts have warned that people with pale skin who are prone to sunburn may need    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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