President's Prescription: Getting your Vitamin D

President's Prescription: Getting your Vitamin D

Our lives are busy, and with technology being what it is, the fact of the matter is, most of us spend our time indoors. Now that's good for preventing sunburn, but the fact of the matter is, many of us do not get enough vitamin D.

Vitamin D is created by the body whenever we are exposed to sunlight, especially when we are exposed to UVB rays. This poses a dilemma – on the one hand we want to limit our time in the sun to avoid increasing our risk for skin cancer, but on the other hand we don't want to find ourselves vitamin D deficient.

Vitamin D plays an integral role in how our body absorbs calcium. Once activated, it helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorous. Taking vitamin D and calcium together, particularly for women, can prevent osteoporosis.

Children deficient in vitamin D may develop a condition known as Rickets – a softening of their bones that typically presents as bowing of the legs. While this disease is rare, deficiency makes bones more prone to breaks. Deficiency manifests in adults through higher risks for chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, obesity and even cancer.

Fortunately, vitamin D comes with an easy fix: just ten minutes in the midday sun can give you a good amount of vitamin D. UVB rays are difficult to come by in the winter. Individuals may benefit from supplementing vitamin D when the weather gets cold. While many foods are fortified with vitamin D, most will not actually deliver it to the liver for synthesis, so it is important to not depend on vitamin D fortified foods alone for supplementation.

And just remember, a great way to get some vitamin D is just to sit back, relax and spend a little bit of time in the sun.

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