live with physical challenges.
I am NOT a DOCTOR!!! I don't even play one on TV!!! It is my goal to live a more healthy lifestyle. Living well and being happy is what this blog is all about.

"Nothing,' wrote Tolstoy, 'can make our life, or the lives of other people, more
beautiful than perpetual kindness."

- Gretchen Rubin

I write about my own experiences and what works (or does not) for me. Nothing I write is to be taken as medical advice.

Only your health care provider, personal physician,Disclaimer:
I am not a doctor - I don't even play one on TV! This
or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wellness A-Z: D = Vitamin D from the Sun

D=D From Sunlight
To begin with, I thought I'd post this quiz I found in the online version of the Berkeley Wellness Letter.

True or False (answers at the bottom of this post)

1. For bone and muscle strength, vitamin D is as vital as calcium.
2. Cod liver oil is your best source of D.
3. Two cups of milk supply all the vitamin D you need daily.
4. Yogurt is also a good source.
5. The latitude you live in can make you deficient in D.

Vitamin D is the only vitamin that is also a hormone and does not have to be consumed in food or supplements.  You manufacture your own when your skin is exposed to the sun.  We often hear about the dangers of over-exposure to the sun, but rarely do we hear about the significant benefit of exposure to the sun.

Most of us are aware of the fact that vitamin D is essential for good bone health.  The current recommended intake of vitamin D is 200 IU (international units) for those under 50; 400 IU for people aged 50 to 70; and 600 IU for those 70 and older.

The pain of conditions such as fibromyalgia can often be relieved with a modest increase in vitamin D.  Some research has linked chronic vitamin D shortages to diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.  People who do not spend enough time in the sun have a higher risk for developing certain cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer, as well as multiple sclerosis, which is more common in northern regions.

A fair skinned person can get as little as 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure on your face and arms at least twice a week and not need to consume any vitamin D in foods at all.  Darker skinned people should strive to stay in the sun for a bit longer.  I used to think that sitting near my large picture window in my living room was providing some vitamin D benefit since the sun comes streaming through, even in the Winter months, however, I have recently learned that sitting by a window with sunlight shining through is of no benefit whatsoever!  Glass blocks the kind of light that stimulates vitamin D production.

If you are a sun worshipper in the Summertime, it's still a good idea to apply sunscreen to exposed skin!  The benefits far outweigh the risks in this case.  If you just use common sense and sit in the sun the recommended amount of time without sunscreen, then you will receive the ultimate benefit of vitamin D. 

1. True. Without vitamin D, you cannot absorb calcium.
2. False. It’s very high in D, but poses health problems.
3. True, but only if you are under 50. Milk in the U.S. is fortified with 100 IU of vitamin D per cup and is the primary dietary source.
4. False. Yogurt and cottage cheese are not made from fortified milk. They have no D.
5. True. In Canada and the northern U.S., there isn’t enough sun in the winter months to stimulate human skin to manufacture D.

Vitamin D and Diabetes.


Today is NATIONAL DITCH THE NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS DAY!!!  You get the point - if you made resolutions and they aren't working out for you, this is your opportunity to ditch them!  If that's how you wanna roll - fine.  I'm not ready to quit yet.

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