(Part 1 on Vitamin D)
Vitamin D is known as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin.’
Your skin has the ability to make Vitamin D when it is exposed to the sun. Yet, for years we have been told to avoid sun exposure. We are told that if we are going to be exposed to the sun, we need to slather on sunscreen, wear a hat and long sleeves or we are going to get skin cancer.
Here’s another one of those catch 22 scenarios… we need Vitamin D from the sun, but we may get skin cancer if we are exposed to the sun.
Vitamin D deficiency puts you at risk of developing many chronic diseases such as:
Most people who work indoors are deficient in Vitamin D, especially in the cold winter months. Our topic last week was on the upward trend of Chronic Disease. Vitamin D deficiency is another contributing factor.
What should you do? What are the questions/myths about the sun?
- Stay out of the sun?
- Slather on the sunscreen?
- Always wear a hat, long sleeves, and long pants when in the sun?
- Just go for it and not worry about how much you are exposed to the sun?
- Eat foods that will protect you from the sun rays that are damaging to your skin?
- Take supplements?
It is difficult to always stay out of the sun although many people do.
Although it is healthy to get sunshine in reasonable amounts, you do need to use common sense and not allow yourself to ever get burned to a crisp.
Actually, the best way to get your Vitamin D is to get a minimum of 20 minutes of sun exposure to 40% bare skin on a daily basis. Of course, this is difficult to do year around in colder climates; especially in the winter months.
Personally, I’ve never liked sunscreen because I’ve always felt as if I was drowsing my body in chemicals.
My father worked outdoors most of his 88 years of life; yet, he never experienced skin cancer. What did he do? I very rarely recall seeing him outdoors without his cowboy hat on and as far as I know, he never owned a short-sleeved shirt or short pants. Yes, he did protect his skin from the sun by wearing protective clothing.
I have brown eyes and have a light to medium complexion so I typically do not burn easily when out in the sun unless I stay outdoors much longer than I’m used to. However, blue-eyed, fair-skinned people do have to be more cautious. Everyone needs to know their limits and use common sense when exposing themselves to the sun.
One of my best friend’s husband has had multiple skin cancer surgeries on his head. He is fair-skinned and lost a good part of his hair by middle age. He was not always careful about wearing a hat when outdoors. Now he is paying the price in his late 60’s and early 70’s.
I have a cousin who lost a son at age 22 from skin cancer. It started as a simple spot on his ear.
Actually, Vitamin D rich foods are protective; such as eggs, beef liver, cheese, raw milk, and fatty fish; such as cod, herring, mackerel, sardines, and tuna
How can supplements protect you from sun UV exposure and also enhance your ability to not be deficient of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D3 supplementation provides protection from the sun’s UV radiation; as well as reducing the risk of Vitamin D deficiency.
Did you know that one of the jobs of cholesterol is to assist your body in making Vitamin D from natural sunlight?
Notice that I said Vitamin D3. There is another form of Vitamin D. It is called Drisdol or D2. It is s synthetic form of Vitamin D and does not perform the same as the Vitamin D you get from the sun or from food. Some sources indicate that D2 can actually cause harm. Be aware of any supplementation; even the D added to dairy foods and prescriptions by your doctor… make sure it is D3.
Stay tuned in for my next blog:
What does Vitamin D do? How does it work?
(Part 2 on Vitamin D)
Be informed and stay proactive in taking care of your health!
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(All information on this blog site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information on this site has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.)