Trust dietitians highlight the importance of getting enough vitamin D

DIETITIANS at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTHFT) have created guidance for the district’s residents around vitamin D and staying well during the coronavirus lockdown.

Many of us will be spending more time indoors while following the Government’s advice and some people won’t be able to benefit from the sunlight to make enough vitamin D.

Vitamin D is extremely important for keeping teeth and bones healthy, helping our nerves and muscles work properly and maintaining a healthy immune system. It helps prevent rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

Most of the vitamin D our body needs is created by the action of sunlight on the skin and is important for staying well during the coronavirus outbreak.

You can find the advice on the BTHFT nutrition and dietetics website and the Bradford Council coronavirus advice pages.

Time in the sun

Zak Ansari, Nutrition Improvement Dietitian for BTHFT, said: “For those that can, you should try and spend 15 to 20 minutes outdoors in the sunshine without sunscreen between 11am and 3pm – in your garden or on a balcony for example.  You must not let your skin redden and those with darker skin may need more time in the sun to create enough vitamin D.

“However, if you are having to self-isolate or are unable to go outside, you should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D to ensure you stay healthy.

“Pregnant women and those with young babies in Bradford and Airedale can get Healthy Start vitamins which include vitamin D.”

It is particularly important that pregnant women, children, the elderly and anyone with a deficiency gets enough vitamin D.

The advice is also featured as part of Bradford Council’s Early Years guidance for families on coronavirus. Other advice includes advice for large families in lockdown, coping with crying babies, what to do if your child is ill and keeping active during the outbreak.

You can also get more advice on vitamin D from the NHS website.