Scots urged to increase vitamin D intake

Tuesday 21st Sep 2010 by theWeather Club

Leaflets are to be distributed urging those living in Scotland to make sure they get enough vitamin D. The move has been made because the sun in these regions is only strong enough to provide the necessary levels of vitamin D between the months of April and September, and doctors are concerned that the local population is not making up the shortfall through their diet.

“If the body's reserves of vitamin D run out during the winter, they need to be topped up from oily fish, eggs, meat or a supplement.” Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said. “Vitamin D is a key factor in maintaining healthy bones. Young children have a high risk of deficiency and we are seeing an increase in reported cases of rickets in Scotland. These conditions are easily prevented by improving diet and taking a supplement if you are at risk.”

Doctors are increasingly worried about this rise in the cases of rickets being seen across the country. Rickets is a rare condition which causes the softening and weakening of bones in children, often leading to limb deformations and fractures. There is also increasing evidence that a lack of vitamin D could be linked to cancer and multiple sclerosis. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are particularly at risk of vitamin D deficiency, along with children under five, the elderly, the housebound and people with darker skin. So staying out for that extra few minutes in the sun, is not such a bad thing after all. At least for those north of the border.