This is a controversial topic these days. Many people, including myself, are finding out that they are vitamin D deficient. Because of the increased attention to vitamin D deficiency, Vitamin D supplement sales have increased 82% from 2008-2009.
Vitamin D can help strengthen and protect your bones, prevent diabetes, autoimmune disorders, depression, heart disease and some types of cancers. The Institute of Medicine is recommending a level of 20 ng/ml in your blood which can be achieved by a daily intake of 600 IU daily. The FDA recommends 400 IU daily. If you are deficient, your physician may recommend additional dietary supplements of 1000-2000 IU/day. Make sure to have your doctor monitor your levels because too much Vit D can also lead to health problems.
Many people ask me if they should get their vitamin D by exposing themselves to sunlight. It is true that short exposures of sunlight can convert to Vitamin D in your body, but I do not recommend getting Vitamin D from sun exposure because of the risk of skin cancer.
The Skin Cancer Foundation advises that you get your Vitamin D from oily fish, fortified dairy products, cereals, and supplements.
So, this 4th of July continue with your normal sun precautions to protect your skin and get your vitamin D by throwing a nice piece of salmon on the grill with a side of portabella or shiitake mushrooms. Yum!
I am looking forward to small town parades and a lot of lobster this week while I visit my family in Maine for the holiday! I hope you have a happy and safe 4th of July!
1.Skelsey, Maral. Vitamin D:Getting the Message right. The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal.Vol xxx 2012. p. 44
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