Sunshine levels make D-pressing news
Hot on the heels of British Summer Time, the first UK ‘Vitamin D Day’ was launched to promote the importance of the ‘sunshine vitamin’.
Vitamin D is important for healthy bone growth and most of what we need is synthesised after we're exposed to UV in sunlight with a top-up coming from dietary sources such as milk, oily fish and fortified cereals. However, in recent years, experts have become concerned that diseases linked to vitamin D deficiency are on the rise, particularly in children.
A variety of factors mean that children have generally been exposed to insufficient levels of sunshine in recent years: more time playing computer games and less time spent doing outdoors-y activities, campaigns to highlight the use of sunscreen blocking out UV and, of course, the run of dreadful British summers.
Lumie lightboxes are designed to filter out UV so, although you'll feel better for using one, you won't boost your vitamin D levels. For that, just ten minutes of sunshine a few times a week is enough so, much like SAD, the best advice is to get outside as much as you can.
Having said that, weather experts are predicting yet another dismal UK summer so you might want to book some time in (front of) Brazil and stock up on the tinned sardines.