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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How does Vitamin D affect bone health?

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  • Erin Miller

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Accredited Dietitian and Nutritionist Erin Miller is passionate about health and wellbeing. The Nutrition Network is her home and she opens her doors to assist … View Profile

    Vitamin D works together with calcium and phosphorus in the body to make and maintain strong bones.
    The best source of Vitamin D is exposure to sunlight. Exposing skin to sunlight for as little as 1-2 hours per week can be enough to maintain normal levels of vitamin D in the body.
    If you are not able to expose your skin to sunlight regularly it is possible to obtain Vitamin D from food. However in Australia foods are not fortified with vitamin D and it can be difficult to obtain enough vitamin D from diet alone.
    Your doctor can prescribe a vitamin D supplement for you. If this has not been done already you may like to ask him / her about a suitable supplement.  You should not take Vitamin D supplements without monitoring by your doctor.
    If your doctor has told you that you have low Vitamin D stores you should also make sure you eat enough calcium rich foods. Calcium is important in making and maintaining strong bones. The best sources of calcium include milk, yoghurt, cheese, labni, milk based desserts and calcium fortified soy milk.
    Dietary sources of Vit D include: Oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines) Cod Liver oil, Margarine and butter, Eggs (must include the egg yolk) and Cheese. Oily fish is the richest natural source of vitamin D. Try to include fish at least 3-4 times weekly.
    If you have concerns about your calcium and vitamin D levels, I suggest you speak to your doctor and seek professional advice from an APD.

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