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Let the sunshine in and say Hello to Vitamin D!

By pam 

nathansnostalgia_smallSummer is approaching! It is the warmest season of the year that favors outdoor activities. We love barbecues, outdoor sports, strolling at the beach or dipping in the nearest pool. But aside from enjoying these fun events, there are also health benefits that can be obtained while the weather is bright and promising.

The helps in the production of in the skin. is a fat-soluble vitamin needed to have strong bones and healthy teeth. Studies have shown that also helps in building a strong immune system that protects us from illnesses and prevents tumor growth.

Lack of vitamin D in the body is often referred to as . This happens when vitamin D present in the body is less than the recommended levels over time. It is caused by one or several factors such as inadequate exposure to sunlight, inability of kidney or liver to convert it into its active form or insufficient absorption of the vitamin from the intestines. Whatever the cause is, leads to bone related diseases such as rickets for children, osteomalacia and osteoporosis for adults.

So in order to avoid these bone problems, the daily recommended allowance for vitamin D must be met. Aside from sunlight exposure, vitamin D can also be obtained from food and dietary supplements. The flesh of catfishes, eels, mackerels, salmons and tunas, as well as fish liver oils is the best natural source of vitamin D. Variable amounts of vitamin D can also be obtained from beef liver, cheese, egg and some mushrooms. It is also available in bread, cereals, margarine, milk and orange juice fortified with vitamin D2 and/or vitamin D3. However, a healthful diet and a little exposure to sunlight are still the best ways to get the right amount of vitamin D and other nutrients.

So what’s the recommended amount of sun exposure to get a sufficient dose of vitamin D in the human body? Generally, recommended sun exposure is 5 to 10 minutes, 3 times a week. However, adults ages 50 and up require more exposure to sunlight due to reduced ability of the skin to produce vitamin D. People with dark skin also require more exposure to sunlight because the amount of the pigment melanin present on their skin reduces its ability to produce the said vitamin. For breastfed babies, milk alone cannot meet the vitamin D requirement. A likely source of additional vitamin D is the sun. However, infants should be kept out of direct sunlight and wrapped in protective clothing.

So step out and welcome the warm ! The human skin naturally produces vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet B radiation and it is said that partial exposure to the sun several times a week is enough to provide most people with their complete vitamin D requirement. It is safe to limit skin exposure to direct sunlight in spite of its importance to vitamin D production because UV radiation is responsible for the many cases of skin cancer and metastatic melanoma that caused thousands of deaths that occur in the US every year.

That’s why people who enjoy sunbathing started using sunscreen as protection from sunburn and skin cancer. However, this reduces the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D. But there’s no reason to worry. There are ways to boost your natural sunscreen to protect you while you get that vitamin D and enjoy the sunshine.

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6 Responses to “Let the sunshine in and say Hello to Vitamin D!”

  1. What You Need To Know About Vitamin D | Natural Sweeteners, Cooking And Your Health on July 25th, 2009 3:37 am

    [...] absolute best way to get vitamin D is sunshine. This of course puts us in a dilemma since we have been taught than sunshine gives us skin cancer [...]

  2. Vitamin D: The Basics | Nutrition blog on July 26th, 2009 6:02 am

    [...] absolute best way to get vitamin D is sunshine. This of course puts us in a dilemma since we have been taught than sunshine gives us skin cancer [...]

  3. What You Need To Know About Vitamin D | A Space For Girlz on July 26th, 2009 7:16 am

    [...] absolute best way to get vitamin D is sunshine. This of course puts us in a dilemma since we have been taught than sunshine gives us skin cancer [...]

  4. Vitamin D: The Basics | HemorrhoidsFreedom.com on July 28th, 2009 2:36 pm

    [...] absolute best way to get vitamin D is sunshine. This of course puts us in a dilemma since we have been taught than sunshine gives us skin cancer [...]

  5. Angel from probiotic supplements on October 2nd, 2009 10:40 am

    I always love summer, and the sun, and the beaches, but next summer when we go out for a vacation, I won’t bring no more beer and cigarettes. I would not bring bbq and fried chicken.

    I am now starting a vegetarian diet and I am proud of it. I know my parents, siblings and friends are proud of me too.

    I am also taking probiotic supplements as part of my diet. There is a big change in my mood when I started living clean. I am more happy and relax and I am planning to stay this way until the end.
    .-= Angel @ probiotic supplements´s last blog ..Probiotic Pills =-.

  6. lynne from Music Festivals on May 10th, 2010 6:06 am

    I cant wait for the summer to arrive, you really do feel so much better when the sun shines, even if you are only outside for a few minutes at a time. Have been trying to encourage my son to spend a short amount of time outside to help his acne. When he went away to summer camp last year, his skin was beautiful when he got back. He always sensible an uses plenty of suncream though.
    .-= lynne@Music Festivals´s last blog ..Sub Focus Records New Track =-.

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