Every day, I am constantly reminded of how amazing our bodies are. While I was out enjoying the sun this past weekend, I reflected on Vitamin D and how incredible it is that our skin can produce such an important molecule when exposed to the sun. Spending just 15 minutes outside per day prior to sunscreen use is enough to reach the daily recommended Vitamin D level.
The Importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an important part of maintaining regular body functions as well as preventing many diseases. Some of the benefits of Vitamin D are…
- Maintaining calcium and phosphorus balance
- Promoting strong bones1
- Reducing inflammation2
- Decreasing cardiovascular risk 3
- Lowering the risk of cancer4
- Reducing overall mortality rates5
- Lowering the risk of pre-term birth in pregnant women6
- And is associated with a lower incidence of dementia7
Are You Getting Enough?
Despite longer exposure to sunlight in the summer, Vitamin D deficiency is more common than you may think. In the winter, cold temperatures have us bundling up, staying indoors and limiting our exposure to the sun. The long winters can put our bodies into a deficient state. In the summer, the use of sunscreen can block our body’s ability to make vitamin D naturally. While sunscreen is important, it is recommended that you spend 15 minutes per day outside before applying sunscreen. Ethnicity, aging, disease, obesity, medications and genetic mutations may also put a person at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Luckily, your naturopathic doctor can test your vitamin D in office and help you reach the ideal levels. This quick test can help us identify causes of illness, help prevent many diseases and promote optimum health.
- Homik, Joanne, et al. “Calcium and vitamin D for corticosteroid‐induced osteoporosis.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2 (1998).
- Zhang, Yong, et al. “Vitamin D inhibits monocyte/macrophage proinflammatory cytokine production by targeting MAPK phosphatase-1.” The Journal of Immunology 188.5 (2012): 2127-2135.
- Zittermann, Armin. “Vitamin D and disease prevention with special reference to cardiovascular disease.” Progress in biophysics and molecular biology 92.1 (2006): 39-48.
- Giovannucci, Edward, et al. “Prospective study of predictors of vitamin D status and cancer incidence and mortality in men.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 98.7 (2006): 451-459.
- Grant, William B., et al. “Estimated economic benefit of increasing 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations of Canadians to or above 100 nmol/L.” Dermato-endocrinology 8.1 (2016): e1248324.
- Chang, Szu-Wen, and Hung-Chang Lee. “Vitamin D and health-The missing vitamin in humans.” Pediatrics & Neonatology (2019).
- Karakis, Ioannis, et al. “Association of serum vitamin D with the risk of incident dementia and subclinical indices of brain aging: The Framingham Heart Study.” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 51.2 (2016): 451-461.
- “D-Spot.” Rocky Mountain Analytical, 9 June 2017, rmalab.com/d-spot.