Gaining Vitamin D through Sun Exposure

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The hormone Vitamin D is making headlines in the medical literature. There is a wealth of research showing that as a population we are not getting adequate amounts of vitamin D through sun exposure or diet. In the summer time, if you get 15 -20 minutes of sun exposure with exposed skin you will naturally produce enough vitamin D to equal greater than 100 glasses of cowís milk. A good source of vitamin D is fish.

Skin cancer has ushered in a period of sun phobia. The campaign to block the sun from reaching our skin by the application of sun screens is a bit misguided. We should try to prevent sunburns but not exposure to the sun, the best source of vitamin D. We have always been taught that Vitamin D plays a critical role in bone health. Now it appears that vitamin D is intimately associated with natural immune system function. Inadequate vitamin D intake is being linked to diseases such as multiple sclerosis, asthma and other inflammatory conditions.

The bottom line is: 1) play outside and use sunscreen only to prevent burns (ask your doctor about time exposure risk); 2) Eat fish and take fish oil as directed by an experienced practitioner; 3) Reduce the intake of processed foods and soy/corn oil; 4) Eat whole foods, especially vegetables and fruits; 5) Love you child, love your child, and love your child!