The lack of sunshine in Donegal has lead to frighteningly low levels of Vitamin D, a GP has said.
The low levels of the vitamin is one of the leading causes of a osteoporosis – a condition which affects 300,000 people in Ireland.
Dr Martin Coyne said he believed there was an issue with the lab machines at Letterkenny University Hospital, as the vitamin D results were so low.
He said: “We’re located further north in Donegal , so we see less sunshine here. In the winter, even if it was cloudless and you lay out naked in the sun, you wouldn’t get enough vitamin D.”
Dr Coyne said 87% of the first 10,000 samples tested at the Letterkenny lab had inadequate levels.
He said the results were so low that patients had to be retested to ensure there was not a miscalculation.
Another study carried out across Ireland reportedly stated just 12.5% of samples had insufficient vitamin D levels.
He told the Irish Times: “The results were frightening.”
People can develop symptoms of osteoporosis due to low vitamin D levels.
These include back pain, loss of height over time and bones breaking more easily.
A spokeswoman for the Irish Osteoporosis Society agreed to the Irish Times that vitamin D deficiency is one of the leading causes of bone loss in Donegal and indeed around the country.
She added: “There are approximately 200 causes of bone loss and it is essential that all causes of bone loss are found and addressed to prevent a person continuing to lose bone.”
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