Vitamin D

Sitting in the morning sun

by Mica C. Kerkdijk

Sunshine is the best source of vitamin D, and it's free! I just love the feel of the sun's warmth on my skin. It gives me an overall happy feeling.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin - the rays of from sunlight trigger vitamin D synthesis in the skin. Vitamin D assists calcium and phosphorous by promoting calcium absorption. Not only is this vitamin good for the bones, it is known to help maintain a healthy immune system. Isn't the body so amazing?

How much of it do we need?
We should be able to get enough vitamin D from some time in the sun and from our diet.

You need to boost your intake of vitamin D in your food and through supplements (10 micrograms/0.01mg a day) IF:
• you hardly eat meat or oily fish
• are in the habit of covering your skin when you go out
• you are of Asian origin
• you rarely go outdoors

Not getting enough vitamin D puts you at the risk of too much vitamin A. Now, if you are taking in too much vitamin D, this may result in weaker bones.

Sources of Vitamin D
Although sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, there are also food sources. If you'r enot getting enough sunshine, just include these in your diet:• Fish: Cod liver oil, Salmon, Mackerel Tuna fish, Sardines
• Dairy products (milk, cheese). Although ice cream contains milk, it is a poor source of calcium. So ladies, ice cream is not the main solution to combat osteoporosis.
• Eggs
• Liver
• Seaweed

Benefits of Vitamin D from sunlight:
• Improves the function of the pancreas;
• Improves your mental performance;
• Prevent and treat bone diseases such as osteoporosis and rickets;
• Prevents depression and schizophrenia;
• Prevents diabetes;
• Prevents many types of cancers (breast, ovarian, prostate included) and reduces the risk of skin cancer (melanoma);
• Your mood improves!

Here comes the sun! Catch you later :-)

I was diagnosed as having the risk of developing osteoporosis. What an eye-opener and a jaw-dropper! I take calcium in natural foods but realized that after living in Holland for 2 years, I probably wasn't having enough sun. There are days I feel I am deprived of my daily dose of sunshine. Well, the sun is there, alright. It's just that the clouds seem to be always in the way! We do get sunny days and I squeal with delight when the sun shines -- and head for the garden. Take advantage of a few minutes of sun a day, your body will thank you for it.

Sunscreen (higher than SPF8) blocks UV rays that produce vitamin D. All it takes is 10 to 15 minutes for Vitamin d synthesis. After that, apply your favorite sunscreen.