Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Vitamin D And A Little Sun Is Good For Your Heath

What's a patient to do?  For years doctors have warned us to stay out of the sun.  That's because one in five people develops skin cancer, so too much sun is definitely bad.  But, not getting enough sun is bad too.  When we are in the sun, our skins produce vitamin D naturally.  Studies show that vitamin D is more important to our health than even doctors realized.  No doubt, most of us know vitamin D promotes strong bones by helping with the absorption of calcium.  But recent medical studies link a lack of vitamin D in the blood to disease, including diabetes, muscle and bone pain and certain cancers.

Doctors now believe a little exposure to the sun is beneficial.Sun Getting enough vitamin D may reduce your risks for cancers of the breast, colon, esophagus, ovaries, prostate and the lymph system.  It suppresses cancer cell growth, as well as, the formation of blood vessels, which feed tumors.  An adequate dose of vitamin D may also prevent heart attacks, arthritis and multiple sclerosis.  It reduces heart disease by lowering blood pressure.

Sunlight and/or vitamin D also seems to lessen migraines, depression and chronic fatigue, but doctors haven't established what the connection is, and scientific research is ongoing.

According to many doctors, including Drs Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz of the You books, adults need 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily.  You can get some from fortified foods like milk, orange juice and breakfast cereals.  But it's difficult to get all the vitamin D you need from diet alone.  Vitamin D3 supplements help, but some doctors now advise us to expose our bare arms and legs to the sun [i.e. no sunscreen] for 10 to 15 minutes a few times a week and use sun protection the rest of the time.  Your skin will produce 10,000-25,000 IUs (and safely store what it doesn't use).  That's all the sun we need to meet our vitamin D requirements without significantly increasing our risks for skin cancer.Island with palm tree

Read more <here> on vitamin D deficiency by Dr. Frank Lipman He combines western, eastern and wellness medicine.

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  1. Seems like I produce lots of Vitamin D. May be I could open a pharmacy :D

  2. I have never applied sun screen a day in my life and never will.
    I believe natural sunlight is very beneficial, and of course being smart about.
    Plus... with all those chemicals sun screen is made from, I wouldn't want that soaking into my pores.

  3. Another very informative posting. As a big sun worshipper, I often wonder if there is a medical justification for the "feelgood" sensations that I get from being in the sun.

    A good healthy way to tan (I think) is to get the reflections off the water maybe two hours before sunset (or two hours after sunrise). This method enhances the "feelgood" aspects, so it's all subjective, but maybe there is something positive going on that's more than simply skin deep.

  4. In thinking about sun exposure: Here again, my grandmother and mother were intuitive. They were fair skinned, didn't apply sunscreens, but used common sense by mostly staying out of the sun. They didn't worry about going out in the sun for brief periods like for short walks to the corner mailbox, or to hang up clothes in the backyard, etc. So just out of common sense they got enough vitamin D without damaging their skins.

    If they were out in the sun for longer times, they covered up with cotton clothing and stayed in the shade. My grandmother wore a big hat. It seems like you can never go wrong by following your grandmother's example, doesn't it?

    By the way, she had smooth, flawless skin into her 80s. [She also ate lots of yogurt.] Mom's got good skin too.