A new study shows which areas are most suffering with Vitamin D deficiency.
Almost 13% of the population in Dublin are suffering with Vitamin D deficiency, according to a report by researchers at Trinity College Dublin and St James' Hospital.
The study shows that the highest level of vitamin D deficiency in the Dublin area is in Dublin 8 and the Lucan postal area.
On average, one in four (25%) people in these areas are vitamin D deficient, compared to one in eight elsewhere.
Dublin 16 during summer had the lowest rates of deficiency at 5%, while during the winter the lowest rate was found in Kildare at 7.6%.
Vitamin D optimises calcium absorption and therefore plays an essential role in bone mineralisation and skeletal development.
Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to vitamin D deficiency, and previous studies have shown that vitamin D levels decrease during puberty, possibly because teenagers are less likely to spend time outdoors than younger children.
Vitamin D can be provided by UV-B radiation from the sun, as well as certain foods and supplements.
"Other studies have shown an association between social deprivation and lower vitamin D, possibly due to diet as vitamin D-rich foods, such as oily fish or fortified foods, tend to be more expensive," said Dr Eamon Laird, author of the study and Research Fellow at the Centre for Medical Gerontology at TCD.
"Also, these locations in Dublin are more ethnically diverse compared to other areas, with higher numbers of non-Caucasians.
"Increased skin pigmentation plus ethnic lifestyle choices such as traditional clothing and/or dietary habits can also increase the risk of deficiency."