February 27, 2021

Vitamin D

The winter sun is low in the sky here in the northeast.

It stays below the tree line for almost two months before it starts it's climb back up, and the day light hours begin to  increase.

Vitamin D deficiency is common in the northern climates as the main source of this vitamin is delivered to the body by the sun through the skin.

And we keep our skin well covered against the cold during the winter months.

Vitamin D doesn't occur naturally in many foods.  It can be found in fatty fish, egg yolks, mushrooms, and liver.

Dairy, most cereals, and some juices have been fortified with it, but for those who want to obtain this vitamin naturally from the sun it is important to do so with care.

As we know, too much sun comes with it's own risks, and using a high SPF sunscreen can prevent the skin from producing the vitamin.

Short spurts of time, about 15-20 minutes, 3 days a week, should be enough to get what we need according to recent studies. 

Vitamin D works to help calcium be absorbed by our bones.

Bone health is important to help prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Vitamin D also supports the immune and nervous systems.

 Signs of Vitamin D deficiency include: fatigue, bone pain, muscle weakness or aches, and mood changes such as depression.

Supplements are available if the doctor thinks they are necessary, but care needs to be taken to not overdo them. Too much Vitamin D comes with its own host of problems.

What is good to know, though, you cannot get too much Vitamin D from the sun.  

Once again, Mother Nature takes care of us if we pay attention.