• According to statistics one in four Australians are deficient in Vitamin D 
  • Australia also has some of the highest rates of melanoma in the world 
  • Dr Dasha Fielder has set out to bust common myths surrounding the vitamin 
  • She also reveals how to get your Vitamin D while staying sun safe  

Billie Schwab Dunn For Daily Mail Australia

With it’s harsh sun, Australia has some of the highest melanoma rates in the world.

As a result, many are extremely vigilant when it comes to sun protection and some even shy away from the rays altogether.

Because of this our Vitamin D levels are suffering, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimating that one in four Australian adults are not receiving adequate amounts of the vitamin, which is created naturally when the sun’s UV rays touch the skin.

So to help people boost their Vitamin D levels safely, Dr Dasha Fielder spoke to FEMAIL about safely sunbathing and busted some common misconceptions.

‘The high melanoma rates in Australia is to do with our sun and exposure to particularly high levels of UV rays,’ Dr Dasha Fielder told Daily Mail Australia. 

Our Vitamin D levels are suffering, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimating that one in four Australian adults are not receiving adequate amounts of the vitamin

Our Vitamin D levels are suffering, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimating that one in four Australian adults are not receiving adequate amounts of the vitamin

Our Vitamin D levels are suffering, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimating that one in four Australian adults are not receiving adequate amounts of the vitamin

‘Why we are deficient is because since the slip slop campaign the education is getting through to people, we are using sunblock and people are covering up.’ 

Dr Fielder explained that Vitamin D deficiencies can can result in the acceleration of the bone break down process, otherwise known as osteoporosis.

‘Vitamin D is important for mental health and there are studies that show a deficiency will result in worse moods and even contribute to depression,’ she explained.

‘That explains why in winter months where we’re not getting enough sun people are more flat in their moods whereas in summer we are naturally happier as we have more Vitamin D exposure.’

Dr Fielder (pictrued) explained that Vitamin D deficiencies can can result in the acceleration of the bone break down process, otherwise known as osteoporosis

Dr Fielder (pictrued) explained that Vitamin D deficiencies can can result in the acceleration of the bone break down process, otherwise known as osteoporosis

Dr Fielder (pictrued) explained that Vitamin D deficiencies can can result in the acceleration of the bone break down process, otherwise known as osteoporosis

Other studies have found that Vitamin D may help prevent some cancers as well as heart disease and diabetes. 

‘Being a multicultural country we have people with different skin colour living here with different needs,’ she added.

‘If you’ve got a darker skin colour, so our Indian, Aboriginal and our African American population, they will not be absorbing the Vitamin D through their darker pigment skin so they are always deficient.’

Dr Fielder elaborated that different people need a different amount of time in the sun to benefit 

Dr Fielder elaborated that different people need a different amount of time in the sun to benefit 

Dr Fielder elaborated that different people need a different amount of time in the sun to benefit 

She said that the current recommendation to avoid deficiency is to spend 10 minutes of your day in direct sunlight without sunblock on your face, neck and back of your hands three times a week.

Dr Fielder said that you should be doing this during the safe hours of the day which are before 11 o’clock and after three o’clock.

‘If your skin is a darker colour you will require more sun exposure but at that point you will be burning and exposing yourself to risk of skin cancer so for you it is best to take a supplement,’ she said.

Although she agreed that different parts of Australia receive different levels of UV rays, she said overall long sun exposure in Australia will result in skin cancer.

'If your skin is a darker colour you will require more sun exposure but at that point you will be burning and exposing yourself to risk of skin cancer so for you it is best to take a supplement,' Dr Fielder said 

'If your skin is a darker colour you will require more sun exposure but at that point you will be burning and exposing yourself to risk of skin cancer so for you it is best to take a supplement,' Dr Fielder said 

‘If your skin is a darker colour you will require more sun exposure but at that point you will be burning and exposing yourself to risk of skin cancer so for you it is best to take a supplement,’ Dr Fielder said 

Dr Fielder explained that there are five different categories that skin types fall into which depend on how much melanin you have.

‘If you have Anglo Saxon white skin and blue eyes with freckles and red or blonde hair, a few minutes for you at lunch time can significantly increase your chance of getting skin cancer in the future,’ she said.

‘I encourage everyone to wear sunblock daily outside the designated times of sun exposure.

‘If you have a Vitamin D deficiency you can easily replace it with supplements but if you get skin cancer then that is a big issue.’ 

Dr Fielder explained that there are five different categories that peoples skin types fall into which all depends on how much melanin you have 

Dr Fielder explained that there are five different categories that peoples skin types fall into which all depends on how much melanin you have 

Dr Fielder explained that there are five different categories that peoples skin types fall into which all depends on how much melanin you have 

Unfortunately Dr Fielder said there is no obvious way to tell if you are Vitamin D deficient and you would have to ask for a blood test.

‘For example, if you’re a dark skinned person and I perform a blood test on you anytime in the year, they tend to all be deficient in Vitamin D,’ she reported.

‘As a doctor I tend to recommend to certain population groups to take Vitamin D supplements at certain times of the year, particularly winter.’

She suggests that people be aware of the skin type that they have and have Vitamin D check ups as well as skin cancer checks with your doctor.  

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