are also at
Melanie Marino is a Masters-qualified, Accredited Practising Dietitian
and founder and owner of Melanie Marino Nutrition and Dietetics.
Her expert comments have appeared on the ABC, Channel 7 and in
the Herald Sun and Womens Fitness Magazine. Melanie enjoys making
nutrition practical and fun and loves cooking, travelling and sport.
ARE YOU GETTING
ENOUGH VITAMIN D?
FEATURE ARTICLE WINTER 2020
Dietitian Melanie Marino shares her tips on Vitamin D, and how this ‘sunshine
vitamin’ can help you remain radiant and healthy through the winter months.
This year, the largest-ever study on Vitamin D conducted in
Australia concluded that most of us just aren’t getting enough
of it. So let’s learn a little more about this important vitamin.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that has impressive health
benefits. It assists the absorption of calcium and phosphorus
- which prevents the loss of bone mass. It also improves
muscle function, assists our memory and cognitive
functioning and strengthens our immune system. Low levels
of Vitamin D have been associated with cancer, depression,
diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia.
How much sun do you need to make
How much sun your body needs to make Vitamin D is
dependent on your skin type and where you live. People that
have dark skin and those that are office or night shift workers
have increased risk of deficiency. Older people and people
with medical conditions are also more vulnerable, as they
have limited time in the sun.
Generally, a few minutes per day with your face, arms and
hands exposed (while the UV index is above three and
Vitamin D is the only vitamin which is a hormone. This
means that when we’re exposed to sunlight, our body can
make it itself. Other ways to obtain Vitamin D is through diet
How much Vitamin D do you need?
The suggested target for men and women aged between
19 to 50 years is 600 international units (IU) per day. If you
look at some of the food you may consume in a day; one
cup of milk contains around 100 IU, two cooked eggs
provide approximately 70 IU, and salmon has around 400
IU per serve.
During winter, we see less sunshine and therefore rely more
heavily on our stores, as well as food sources of Vitamin D.
Research shows that the amount of Vitamin D each person
requires varies dramatically from person to person.
Vitamin D deficiency is incredibly common. The most
common signs include aching bones, fatigue, forgetfulness,
headaches, infections, migraines and night sweats. Vitamin D
deficiency is three times more prevalent in people that are
overweight or obese. If you have any gastrointestinal issues
such as Crohns, Coeliac or Inflammatory Bowel Disease,
you’re also likely to suffer from lower levels of Vitamin D.
YMCA HEALTHY LIVING MAGAZINE