Most of the Vitamin D we need is made when the skin is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet B rays.
Vitamin D is required for strong teeth and bones, muscle health and general health. It helps the body to absorb calcium and phosphate from food.
Deficiency of vitamin D can result in softening and weakening of bones - rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, and can also make bones porous and brittle - osteoporosis in adults. A lack of it is also related to other health conditions such as heart disease, cancers, allergies, and Type 2 diabetes.
- People with darker skin, as it takes the skin a longer time to synthesize the vitamin
- Babies and children from the age of 6 months to 5 years.
- Pregnant or breast- feeding women especially teens and young women
- Older people who are over 65 years
- People in situations such as illness who are unable to come out of their homes or live in climates without much sunlight
- Vegetarians and those who have insufficient intake of milk products
- 10 – 15 minutes is enough depending on skin colour. Darker skins need longer exposure.
- The best time of the day is between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. as the sun is the strongest at that time but that is also the time when you are most likely to burn.
- It takes less time for the body to make Vitamin D than it takes to burn your skin, so expose yourself to sunshine only for short periods of time.