'Better access' to vitamin D needed

14 December 2012

There needs to be better access to vitamin D supplements to help boost the health of people in at-risk groups, an expert has claimed.

Professor Mitch Blair said that the awareness is increasing about the benefits of vitamin D, otherwise known as the "sunshine vitamin".

This is a reference to the fact that human beings get most of their vitamin D from the sunlight, which reacts with the skin.

His comments are important, because the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has noted that 25 per cent of children in the UK are vitamin D deficient.

"Vitamin D can be found in some foods such as oily fish, eggs and mushrooms - but only ten per cent of a person's recommended daily amount is found naturally in food," Prof Blair wrote in the BBC's Scrubbing Up column.

"Put bluntly, eating more fish and getting out in the sun a bit more won't make much of a difference to your vitamin D levels."

Vitamin D supplements can be bought in supermarkets and pharmacies, and Prof Blair would like to see these delivered to the public at a much cheaper price.

Recognising that there is a need to get more people aware of the importance of vitamin D, the RCPCH wants a public awareness campaign to be launched.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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