Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal bones, teeth, muscle function and immune function. Vitamin D contributes to normal absorption/utilisation of calcium and phosphorus.
The classic vitamin D deficiency disease is rickets. Yet as fear of sun-exposure has grown and lifestyles have become more sedentary, exposure to the sun has dropped dramatically and vitamin D deficiency and the incidence of rickets has surged.
The skin cannot create vitamin D if covered in sunscreen or clothing, it is thought that a sun cream with SPF15 will reduce the skin’s ability to synthesize vitamin D by more than 95%.
Furthermore, many older people and those with dark skin or those who tend to wear more modest clothing are amongst the population groups that are most likely to suffer sub-optimal vitamin D levels.
Dietary sources include fortified foods, eggs and fatty fish. Most commonly-available Vitamin D3 supplements are derived from the lanolin in sheep’s wool.