Due to the nature of the work at Macraes Mine, there is an increased risk of becoming vitamin D deficient due to spending long periods of time inside inside machinery, underground and in full overalls.
As vitamin D is essential in mainitaing good health, we have gathered the following information for you and your family to be aware of.
WHY DO WE NEED VITAMIN D?
Vitamin D is an important nurtient that helps to maintain strong healthy bones because it enables you
to absorb calcium.
It also helps your muscles, nerves and immune system
to function properly.
Vitamin D is thought to help prevent a number of
-High Blood Pressure
-Several types of cancer
WHERE DOES VITAMIN D COME FROM?
Approximately 90% of Vitamin D is provided through your skins direct contact with sunlight
i.e: it can not be asborbed through glass.
However, New Zealand sun is very stong so care should be taken to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Learn more about safe sun exposure here.
Small amounts of Vitamin D can be obtained through certain foods such as oily fish (tuna, salmon, warehou), eggs, milk and other dairy products.
Fortified foods are foods that have Vitamin D added to them.
Examples of these are maragrine, soy products and
some other dairy products.
Click here for some Vitamin D rich recipies.
ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH
In NZ, around 5% of adults are Vitamin D deficient with a further 27% are below the recommended blood level of Vitamin D.
Some people are at higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency than others.
These groups include:
-naturally very dark skinned people
-people who undertake an occupation that requires
them to be completely covered in protective clothing
-older adults in residential care or house bound
-people with malabsorbtion disorders
-over weight people
Unfortunately it is hard to clearly tell if you are
deficient in Vitamin D and it can only be
determined through a blood test however
signs of Vitamin D deficiency include:
-recurrent coughs, colds or the flu
-vagues muscle aches
-fatigue or low energy level
-loss of motivation
HEALTHY WAYS TO IMPROVE
VITAMIN D INTAKE
The safest and healtiest way of meeting your
Vitamin D needs is through natural sources
such as diet and sunshine.
Because of the limited amount of sunshine
you are able to get when working at Macraes,
we recommend that on your days off you get out
and enjoy the sun!
-Between May and August 20-40 minutes of sun exposure in the middle of the day is recommended daily
-During the summer to meet your necessary daily intake,
it is safer to enjoy the sun for 5-10minutes either
mid-morning or mid-afternoon to avoid getting burnt.
Having a diet that includes regular intake of the foods metioned can also help you meet your Vitamin D needs.
LONG TERM IMPLICATIONS
Long term implications of Vitamin D deficiency
can cause serious health problems.
-Children can develop rickets which is a bone disease causing weak, soft and malformed bones.
-In adults Vitamin D deficiency may lead to the development of osteomalacia,
a softening of the bones with muscular weakness,
bone pain and bone fractures.
It may also lead to the development of osteoporosis.