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TOPIC: The Debate Over Sun Exposure and Vitamin D

The Debate Over Sun Exposure and Vitamin D 11 Sep 2005 13:53 #4105

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Most women don't get the connection between sun exposure, vitamin D and PMS/PMDD. Some women are still not aware of the calcium - PMS/PMDD connection. New studies are also showing a connection between low vitamin D levels and autoimmune diseases. The lower the level the greater the chance of triggering an underlying autoimmune disorder (Celiac, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroiditis, MS, Sjogren's, lupus and many others)

Low dietary calcium intake has been shown to be a factor of many PMS symptoms. Now studies are indicating that not enough sun exposure = low calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium absorption along with other possible problems linked to cancer, MS, arthritis and bone pain, fibromyalgia and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

There is a heated debate over how much sun is good vs. the those who believe little sun exposure is best. My opinion, as well as some astute scientists is, it depends on your genetics.

If your ancestors originated from areas with lots of sunshine then chances are you have a darker skin tone. In this case your need for more sunlight increases in order to penetrate the skin for adequate vitamin D synthesis. Those with very fair skin tone whose ancestors originated from Northern Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, northern China or anywhere above or below 45 degrees latitudes, the amount of UVB needed to penetrate the skin may not be as high. Darker skin tones have more melanin that acts as a natural sun screen. You skin creates its own sun screen when you get a tan.

Let me back up a little to make my point, Vitamin D is the sunshine fat soluble vitamin made by the skin. You need vitamin D in order to absorb calcium, magnesium and other minerals. The problem is you can run very short of vitamin D after your stores run out during the winter. The risk of running short increases if you spent little time in the sun during the summer.

The sun is not strong enough for about 4 months out of the year to create vitamin D. Many women are spending long hours under the artificial light of an office or workplace for most of the day. Not only are women in this country consistently low in calcium intake but now we're slathering on the sun screen when ever we leave the house.

Many doctors miss a vitamin D deficiency because they order the wrong blood tests. Your body sends the inactive version (D) through the liver and to the kidneys for activation by adding hydrogen molecules(D3). The active version is what is measured, but what if your stores are low.

It's important to make sure if you're not getting enough sunlight that you take calcium plus vitamin D. The RDA for D is currently 400 International Units or (IU) which is now considered too little to maintain vitamin D levels. The RDA will soon change to reflect more accurate use levels probably closer to 1,000 IU's a day.

There are few foods that naturally contain vitamin D but the nice thing is some also contain omega 3's essential fatty acids also helpful in the fight against PMS.

Food Amount of Vitamin D
Halibut 3oz= 680 IU vit.D
Catfish 3 oz 570 IU vit. D
Pink Salmon, canned 1/4 cup - 400 IU
Tuna, canned 1/4 cup - 130 IU
Milk or Soy fortified w/D - 100 IU

You can also read the label on some yogurts and cereals for added D. Look for %DV or percent daily value. As an example 15% DV would = 60 IU

What's the link between vitamin D and Cancer?
It turns out that almost every tissue in your body, brain, breast, bone, colon, intestine, heart, kidneys and prostate has a receptor for the active form of vitamin D. The question is why? It turns out the the active form of vitamin D is one of the most potent hormones to inhibit cell proliferation.

For the best sun exposure in the winter, get out between 11am and 2pm for at least 30 minutes, more is better because the sun rays come into the atmosphere at such a sharp angle that the UV B's are filtered out. And in the summer get out every day for at least 15 minutes.

Please don't hesitate to ask any questions regarding vitamin D or any other vitamin or mineral. I'll do my best to get you reliable information.

The Debate Over Sun Exposure and Vitamin D 14 Sep 2005 20:40 #4106

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HI, IN this months Discovery magazine, there is an article in there about sun and vit. d. and there was also on in there on progesterone and the women's mind/body.
Nicole

The Debate Over Sun Exposure and Vitamin D 19 Oct 2008 19:05 #4107

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So does wearing sunblock keep you from generating the vitamin D? 'cause I'm very fair and wear the high sunblocks 70-80SPF put out by Neutrogena, which now claim to help protect against UVB and UVA rays.

The Debate Over Sun Exposure and Vitamin D 19 Oct 2008 19:19 #4108

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Yes, sunblock inhibits the creation of the precursor of vitamin D. If you're light skinned- allow 5-10 minutes a day (late spring, summer) without the sunscreen. Actually....you really don't need sunscreen in October in Chicago.

The Debate Over Sun Exposure and Vitamin D 15 Dec 2008 15:47 #4109

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