Fun in the Sun with Vitamin D
Read Time: 3 minutesThe average person acquires vitamin D through exposure to sunlight and animal products. Deficiency symptoms are subtle, and infants and elderly are the most at risk. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and immune system. There are a lot of myths on the best way to maintain balanced vitamin D levels. Don’t believe them.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphorus found in the body. Long story short, it’s essential for healthy bones. Known as the sunshine vitamin, most people to receive vitamin D via the sun. Vitamin D is produced when bare skin is exposed to sunlight. Sitting in the sun for a short amount of time a few days a week can allow the skin to produce the needed amount of vitamin D. Exposure time will vary by age, skin type, and season. Foods such as certain fish, egg yolks, and fortified dairy products also contain vitamin D.
What is Vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bone growth. Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency are often subtle. The beginning signs are often bone pain and muscle weakness. Additional symptoms include: fatigue, illness, irregular heart rhythms, respiratory infections, depression, loss of bone density, repeat fractures, and hair loss. Vitamin D deficiency is very common and goes largely unnoticed/undiagnosed. Some of the causes include:
- A vegan diet
- Limited exposure to sunlight
- Skin color
- Medical diagnoses
- Kidney issues
The best solution to a vitamin D deficiency is sunlight. Supplements also work in balancing the body’s Vitamin D levels. Increasing intake of vitamin D rich foods will also help.
Myth #1: The best vitamin D comes from the sun!
While the sun is a good source of vitamin D, too much exposure can be detrimental. Due to the decrease in the ozone layer, most sunrays that reach earth’s atmosphere are UV light. UV light is directly linked to skin cancer. Even tanning beds expose humans to UVB light, which is also linked to skin cancer. Sunlight alone should not be the sole source of vitamin D.
Myth #2: The best vitamin D comes from food!
While there are plenty of vitamin D rich foods out there (fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified dairy/grain). the average human does not consume enough quantities to satisfy vitamin D levels. Additionally, the source of the food will affect the level of vitamin D present. Even a healthy balanced diet will likely not provide sufficient amounts of vitamin D.
Myth #3: Everyone is Vitamin D deficient.
Most of the population has balanced levels of vitamin D. Those that do not are typically infants and the elderly. Any increase in vitamin D deficiency is typically seem during the wintertime.
Myth #4: Only the elderly and children need to take supplements.
During the winter months, everyone can benefit from vitamin D supplements. Diet alone is not enough. Vitamin D also helps maintain a healthy immune system during the winter months.
Vitamin D is for everyone
Don’t believe the hype. A healthy balanced diet and monitored sun exposure is the best method to ensure balanced vitamin D levels. Vitamin D supplements are not just for the at risk. Everyone can benefit. Fun in the sun is good for vitamin D levels but be cautious. Too much exposure can be damaging to the skin cells. Even if you maintain a healthy diet, everyone can benefit from vitamin D supplements.