Scottish warning over vitamin D levels

New leaflets are to be handed out urging people to make sure they get enough vitamin D.

Doctors are concerned people in Scotland are not getting enough of the vitamin from sunlight and are not topping up their levels with a healthy diet. There is increasing evidence that a lack of vitamin D could be linked to cancer and multiple sclerosis. Doctors are also concerned about a rise in the bone disease rickets.

Rickets is a rare condition which causes the softening and weakening of bones in children. 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. About 10 to 15 minutes a day of sunshine is considered safe.

But in Scotland the sun is only strong enough to provide vitamin D between April and September. 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.

Source - BBC