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The Daily Dose - March 3rd - The Importance of Vitamin D

The Importance of Vitamin D

Lack of Vitamin D is epidemic in the west and is a major factor contributing to poor health and different disease states. This is partially related to poor nutrition but is also highly connected to the lack of exposure to sunlight. At least 75% of Americans today are Vitamin D deficient. Lack of sun exposure is a key factor here. Most people leave home before the sun comes up and get home after it sets. Getting enough sun exposure depends upon the color of your skin to a large extent, with light skinned people needing less time to synthesize sufficient vitamin D than darker skinned people. In order to get sufficient sun exposure, the best recommendation is to get out in the sun between 10 and 2 every day for 15 to 20 minutes. A darker skinned person of African origin would benefit by at least 30 minutes. Ideally expose 40% or more of your body to the sun. Never allow yourself to burn in the sun. These are general recommendations and as such the best way to be sure you are getting sufficient Vitamin D is to get yourself tested for it periodically. When supplementing with Vitamin D a good rule of thumb is to take 5000 iu daily until your levels are optimal and then lower back down to 2-3000 iu’s daily. People with the lowest levels of Vitamin D are the most prone to cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and more. Sufficient levels of Vitamin D are also essential for you to absorb calcium. Getting enough Vitamin D is not going to happen if you wear sunscreen. Sunscreen prevents the absorption of Vitamin D and most sunscreens are made with chemicals that are far from natural. Since it is important not to burn, wearing a natural sunscreen is important if you are spending the day at the beach or outdoors in the sun, however it is best not to wear it when you are getting your daily dose of sunshine. Vitamin D levels are so chronically low that we are seeing cases of rickets appearing again, something thought to have been long eradicated. Supplemental Vitamin D should always be Vitamin D3 and we must care to find a source than is extracted in a natural manner without the use of toxic chemicals like hexane.