Where do we get it?
Most people get enough vitamin D through exposure to sunlight during normal day-to-day outdoor activities. However, some people have very low levels of daily sun exposure. This can lead to low Vitamin D and, in some cases, longer term deficiency.
The challenge exists to balance the need for sun exposure against the risk of skin cancer. A rough guide for exposing your skin safely would be:
Times should be adjusted depending on location ie decrease length of exposure if you live in a warmer locations such as Cairns.
What about diet?
There are very small amounts of vitamin D in some foods and drinks, but it is difficult to get enough vitamin D from diet alone. Only a few foods (such as fish and eggs) naturally contain Vitamin D. Margarine and some types of milk have added Vitamin D, but most people only get 10 - 25 per cent of their Vitamin D from food.
Sometimes, for one reason or another, sun exposure is not possible in this case, supplements can be beneficial.
Who's at risk
People most vulnerable of developing Vitamin D deficiency are those that have little exposure to the sun. These include people who:
You can have your Vitamin D levels checked via a blood test. You'll need a referral from your GP.