According to some recent researches, many dark-skinned people who live in cold climates may lack vitamin D. However, most of these people are not even aware of this fact. We know that vitamin D is produced in the human body when the skin is exposed to direct sunlight. This vitamin is normally found in some foods, but these quantities are not considered satisfactory. To get vitamin D in sufficient amounts, you need to spend some time in the sun, without using any sunscreen. Twenty minutes in the sun without any skin care product, three or four times a week, is considered enough. However, some people live in countries with not much sun. In such cases, vitamin D deficiency is likely to occur.
According to recent studies, white people need to spend less time in the sun to get vitamin D, compared to dark-skinned people. People who have darker skin need to spend more time in the sun to get their daily dose of this important vitamin. People who live in colder climates, or those who always use sunscreen, are likely to become deficient in vitamin D; however, dark-skinned people have even more chances to develop this condition. That is why these people need more vitamin D. Daily recommendations are therefore different for those people.
Current daily recommendations of vitamin D will not necessarily work for all of us. Before taking any supplement of vitamin D, you need to have your vitamin D levels measured. Your doctor will decide about the dosage. However, some experts say that vitamin D recommendations have to be modified. In other words, this will differ, from person to person.
Experts say that vitamin D is extremely important for overall health, so we have to pay more attention to our vitamin D levels. This is especially important for people who are at risk of getting certain diseases.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to several illnesses, some of which are very serious. Low levels of vitamin D can lead to rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults, and osteoporosis. In some cases, vitamin D deficiency can lead to depression, weakness and fatigue. According to some studies, vitamin D deficiency is linked to obesity.
Vitamin D is found in foods like animal meat (especially liver), fish, eggs, fortified milk and dairy products. Some breakfast cereals also contain vitamin D. Vegetarians are advised to use vitamin D supplements, because they do not consume any of the foods mentioned above. Fortified cereals make a good option for vegetarians. However, even people who consume these foods may become deficient in vitamin D. Sunlight is the main source of vitamin D; therefore, you should spend more time in the sun. This does not mean you need to spend the whole day in the sun, because you can easily get sunburns. Twenty minutes without sunscreen will be enough.