Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Expose To Sun To Get Your Needed Vitamin D!

Why is vitamin D so important to us? According to a new 5-year study, published in January 2008 in the journal Circulation, vitamin D may not only offer protection against serious illnesses, including strokes and heart failure, but also play a vital role in supporting bone strength.

A substantial amount of vitamin D required by our body is derived from exposure to sun. However, most of us are not getting enough. In fact, only about 10 percent of us are getting ideal levels of vitamin D.

It seems that sunlight is good for us! Should we therefore take as many sunbaths as we can? The answer is no! This will likely to disappoint many sun-worshippers.

Even when you are out of vitamin D, you need not immerse yourself in the sunlight over long period. For most people, short exposures are probably enough. Some researchers have suggested that a fair-skinned adult wearing a T-shirt and trousers needs to spend only 5 to 10 minutes in the middle sun to top up their levels of vitamin D.

Exposing to sun over long period will not give more vitamin D because once enough vitamin D has been produced, the rest will be converted into inactive substances. In addition, lounging around in the UV rays will raise your chance of developing skin cancer. Although one study showed that sunscreen could reduce vitamin D production, it was not enough to cause a deficiency. Therefore, you may want to use sunscreen when exposing in the sunlight.

Studies have shown that if there is a shortage of strong sun during rainy seasons, one can soak it up on sunny days and the vitamin D will be stored in the fatty tissue.

Nevertheless, if you are very concerned about skin cancer, darker skin, or if you are pregnant, elderly, you could always choose the other alternative by taking vitamin D supplement in the morning.

Remember this, you should not wear whole-body coverings or spend most of the time indoors as all these things may just increase your risk of vitamin D deficiency. Insufficient vitamin D may lower your protection against heart disease and many other medical disorders.

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