Vitamin D Basics

Why is vitamin D important? Vitamin D is essential in order for your body to be healthy and function correctly. Healthy bones require vitamin D while the amount that you have in your system can determine if your immune system can fight infection successfully.


Can I get my daily dose of vitamin D from the sun? The American Academy of Dermatology does not recommend getting vitamin D from sun exposure or tanning beds because the harmful UV rays omitted during these methods can cause skin cancer. To protect against UV ray induced skin cancer, dermatologists recommend protecting yourself from these harmful rays by sitting in the shade when possible, wearing long sleeves/pants, sunglasses, hats and a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 of higher.


What are safe ways to get vitamin D? A healthy diet that includes food such as salmon, cheese, eggs, soy milk and oatmeal. Vitamin D supplements are also available at most pharmacies. For more information on a vitamin D rich diet visit the vitamin D council website


What are symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency? Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency may consist of frequent broken bones, excessive sweating, chronic pain or depression. This deficiency can lead to diseases such as rickets or osteomalacia. Both of these diseases cause soft, thin, and brittle bones. A lack of Vitamin D has also been linked to some other diseases such as Crohn’s, Alzheimer’s and MS. While some studies have suggested that vitamin D can improve cancer survival rates, that’s not a general consensus in the medical community.


Consult your physician if you think that you have a vitamin D deficiency.


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