A NEW leaflet is to be sent out to try to raise awareness of the dangers of vitamin D deficiency.
The move comes ahead of a conference which will discuss possible links between a lack of the vitamin and multiple sclerosis (MS). Low levels of vitamin D can also lead to rickets, a rare disease that causes the softening and weakening of bones in children.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon warned the number of reported cases of this in Scotland was on the increase.
The information leaflet, aimed at increasing awareness of the recommended levels of vitamin D, is being sent out to GPs and health professionals from tomorrow.
It warns a number of groups – including pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding, children under five, those aged over 65, people with darker skin and those who are not exposed to much sunlight – could be at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D can be created naturally in the body by exposure to the sun but in Scotland there is only enough sunlight of the right ultraviolent B wavelength to create vitamin D in this manner for about half the year.
Source: Scotland On Sunday