A HOLIDAY in Spain could be just what the doctor ordered for the quarter of Britons suffering from vitamin D deficiency.

The Government findings mean that many people face an increased risk of painful bone conditions including osteoporosis, while children may be at increased risk from rickets.

Around 90 per cent of our intake of the so-called ‘sunshine vitamin’ comes from exposure to sunlight, which converts cholesterol into vitamin D.

Low levels are linked to a range of health problems including muscle weakness, heart disease and diabetes.

Deficiency in the vitamin – which can be found in small amounts in meat, offal, oily fish and eggs – has also been linked to bowel and breast cancer.

“Vitamin D is important for general good health, growth, muscle function and a healthy immune system,” said Dr William Marshall, from The London Clinic.

“It helps the body to use the calcium and phosphorus obtained from food and regulates cell differentiation, possibly helping to prevent some cancers.”

Britain’s lack of sunshine has led experts to believe that many people are deficient, with young children, pregnant and breastfeeding women and those over 65 at highest risk.

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