Clear Blue Skies Aren’t Always A Necessity For Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for the body because it helps to fortify cells and bones, and can aid in the body’s fight against a long list of ailments. Found naturally in sunlight, as well as foods like mushrooms and some forms of seafood, vitamin D is linked to the reduction of bone fractures, diabetes and heart disease. This being said, the summer months are only around for a short time, and sunlight begins to be at a minimum as the year winds to a close. This, along with the lack of knowledge on just how to obtain vitamin D, is by far the biggest reason that more than 75 percent of the U.S. population is deficient in vitamin D.

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Many people are slowly turning to artificial forms of vitamin D to pick up the slack. The consumption of supplements has risen gradually over the last few years, but even these fall short in comparison to the real thing. As effective as they are, they are also quite pricey and many have been linked to health concerns due to the traces of heavy metals and chemicals within them.

New studies show results that conclude that being outside, even during the fall and winter months, is still the more effective way to obtain the necessary vitamin D for the body to thrive. To further test the overall effectiveness of vitamin D, participants have been exposed to artificial light containing ultraviolet radiation (UV) and numbers were looked at in terms of how much was absorbed in a short 15 minute span, versus the same amount of light outside on a clear day.

Findings showed that both groups participating in the study were exposed to UV rays on up to 80 percent of their bodies. This means that even if the sun isn’t shining brightly, the sun being present is enough to have the body soak in UV rays and vitamin D. Granted, the amount of time needed outside when the temperature drops, needs to increase; but layering up and even exercising outside during the fall or winter can help you to soak up even a marginal amount of vitamin D. The UV dose used in this study was said to be equal to roughly two hours outside under the weak winter sun. That equals about 10 minutes of sun exposure a day over the course of two weeks.

To better enhance your vitamin D exposure, let as much skin show as possible when outside. Of course, comfort and warmth is the number one priority. Aiming for “solar noon”, which refers to the time when the sun is at it’s highest in the sky, is the best option for exposure. Knowing your body is also key, as overdoing it in the sun can cause damage to the skin. Call it quits and head inside in a timely manner.

Consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical related advice.

 

 

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Martyn Smith

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