WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH VITAMIN D?

Everyone knows that Vitamin D is an important aspect of human health. Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin, because it is produced by the body in response to sunlight, and builds strong bones by helping the body utilize calcium from the diet. Over the past few years, studies have suggested that Vitamin D is responsible for protecting the body from an entire host of health problems, including rickets, cardiovascular disease, and cognitive impairment in adults. So it is clearly important to get your daily dose of Vitamin D.

Some studies suggest that the best time of day to get your sun exposure is in the early morning or late evening. However, those models are outdated. Current studies show that UVB radiation – the type that stimulates Vitamin D production – is strongest in the middle of the day. Early in the day or later, less UVB, and therefore less Vitamin D produced.

Modern science also shows that the risk of sunburns is highest in the 10am – 2pm range, so you might worry about skin damage while trying to get that Vitamin D. But! The current philosophy is that the more skin exposed, the shorter the exposure time needed. So instead of laying out for hours and risking UV damage, simply spend some time outside with a light sunscreen, and get your Vitamin D without hurting your skin.

On the topic of Vitamin D supplements, opinions are mixed. While studies agree that Vitamin D supplements will not hurt you, there is little proof that they are better than sunshine at increasing your levels. The conclusion?  Save your money, and spend some time outside helping your body build strong bones.

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