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Vitamin D: The Sun Vitamin

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Vitamin D (calciferol) is a fat-soluble vitamin that is not only found in food (such as milk), but can also be made in your body after exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun.

The main role of Vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. It aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones, especially during growth periods. It also promotes bone mineralization in conjunction with a number of other vitamins, minerals, and hormones.

A Vitamin D deficiency may have many side effects. Rickets (bowing of the bones) is caused by Vitamin D deficiency in children and infants. The elderly and others who do not get much sun exposure are also at risk for Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency may also result in the softening of the bones and abnormal bone formation.

One in every seven adults has been reported to be Vitamin D deficient. Brief and casual exposure to sunlight can provide enough Vitamin D to meet your needs.

Corinne is a degreed nutritionist and award-winning writer. Visit her web site at www.thefoodcop.com.

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EmpowHER Guest

You can always get your 25(OH)D levels tested.
Grassrootshealth.org is a charity run by some of the world's best vitamin D scientists who are trying to confirm what intake levels of Vitamin D3 are associated with least incidence of chronic disease.
You can sign up for one just one $40 postal test
or you may want to choose 2 $40 tests each year for the next 5yrs. Those living above latitude 35 are best to go for the 2 tests yearly as in the winter it's impossible to lay naked in the sun at noon and get Vitamin D from it as UVB doesn't reach the ground. Disease Incidence Prevention by Serum 25(OH)D Level

While you are at Grassroots health please watch some of the videos from those Vitamin D experts. I don't which I found the most interesting, Diabetes prevention. Cancer prevention, Heart disease and Skin cancer are all covered. The evidence to justify keeping your 25(OH)D status above 55ng is very compelling. The cost is minimal and its absolutely safe. The latest word on the subject is that 10,000iu/daily poses no risk whatsoever even in areas where prolonged sun exposure is available.

May 20, 2009 - 9:23am
HERWriter Guide

Thanks for this information!

I try to make sure my kids get at least 15-20 minutes of sunlight every day, and me as well.

As long as our faces and chests have sun block (these parts of our body don't age well and need protection all the time!) we all do need a little sun. I think we make a mistake by disallowing any sun whatsoever on our bodies - it's unnatural and can cause depression, especially Seasonal Affective Disorder. As you said, Vitamin D is a crucial vitamin that many of us lack, in the misguided attempt to avoid any and all sun. 15 minutes of casual sun (not lying out in a swimsuit, baking away!) is not harmful.

May 18, 2009 - 1:12pm
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