Gloomy skies putting NI adults' bone health at risk
Irish winters are leaving one in four older adults deficient in vitamin D, a study has found.
Even during the summer, when the body usually produces vitamin D, one in eight adults over the age of 50 have been found to be lacking it.
The vitamin, which is produced by the body after exposure to sunshine, is needed for normal bone health and for the prevention of conditions such as osteoporosis. A deficiency can be treated with supplements.
Researchers from Trinity College Dublin discovered wide variations in vitamin D deficiency across Ireland.
People living in Northern Ireland, the north and west of Ireland, and those who were physically inactive, were much more likely to be lacking in the vitamin, according to the study.
The research, which was published yesterday in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, also found that vitamin D deficiency increased with age.
In adults over the age of 80, 37% were deficient in winter, compared with 22% of 50 to 59 year olds.