Blog

Get Your Sunshine On!!!!

Vitamin D deficiency has become all to common. As our cultural society has changed we are spending more time indoors missing those important rays of sunshine.

I have tested hundreds of vitamin D levels over the past few years and can easily count on with my fingers the number of healthy vitamin D levels I have seen.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods (fish, oysters) added to others and available as a nutritional supplement. It is produced when the ultraviolet light from the sun strikes the skin and triggers vitamin D synthesis.

Vitamin D from the sun, food and supplements must be converted two times, one in the liver from vitamin D to 25 hydroxyvitamin D also known as calcidiol. The second conversion is in the kidneys and forms the active form of vitamin D 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D also known as calcitriol.

Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption for bone health, modulates cell growth, immune and neuromuscular function and reduces inflammation. Serum 25 (OH) D is the best indicator of vitamin D status (tested in the blood). It reflects the vitamin D produced in the skin from ultraviolet light and that obtained from food and supplements.

Deficiency is noted with a vitamin D level less than 30ng/ml.

Current research for the efficacy of restoring proper vitamin D levels:

  1. Low levels of 25-(OH) vitamin D is associated with an increased risk for subsequent earlier exposure and more aggressive development of prostate cancer, especially before the andropause.
  2. In middle-age men and postmenopausal women, a higher 25(OH) vitamin D level was significantly associated with higher lean muscle mass strength and performance.\
  3. Higher serum 25 (OH) levels are associated with reduced risk of Asthma.]
  4. Vitamin D supplementation appears to be protective against breast cancer development.
  5. Both chronic musculoskeletal pain and chronic headache may be related to vitamin D deficiency.

So, the take-home: Get your vitamin D level checked then get outside and soak up the sun for 5-30 minutes between 10 am and 3 pm at least twice per week. Sun exposure to the face, arms, legs or back without sunscreen usually leads to sufficient vitamin D synthesis. Contrary to popular belief, the sun does not cause cancer, sunburn causes cancer.

Best of Health,

 

 

References:

Cancer causes control 2000 Oct11, (9):847-52

J AM Med Dir Assoc 2013 Aug14.

Allergy; 2015 Apr, 70(4);339-54doi:10.1111/all.12583

Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2013 Oct:16

Anticancer Res.2014Dec;34