More on Vitamin D
The reader relayed a real-life experience that spot on tackles the skin cancer versus low levels of vitamin D argument. This reader endured both skin cancer, pre-osteoporosis (osteopenia) and low blood levels of vitamin D! Talk about a bad day. I thank her/him for sharing this story and am so sorry s/he had to go through such a rough patch. But it does highlight the need to address appropriately, adequate sun exposure to help boost our vitamin D levels, keeping in mind the real risk of getting too much sun. This reader recommends anyone living in northern climates to get a blood test to find out your vitamin D status and not be quite so obsessive about avoiding the sun. I have to concur.
Our kids are at special risk because they are in the process of building bone. We want to keep ours, and make sure our kids are indeed laying down adequate bone mass. New research out this week shows kids living in the northeastern United States indeed appear to be at real risk of bone diseases, like rickets, due to inadequate blood levels of vitamin D. Researchers from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia measured kids blood concentration from this part of the country and found over half of them had inadequate vitamin D levels. So we must take this seriously. Yes use sunscreen, but do allow your child to have some sun exposure. As I had said before in my previous post, vitamin D researchers are suggesting we get some sun but stop just short of our skin changing color.
And lastly I have to toot my horn for a sec. I was interviewed yesterday for a Newsweek story on bone health, particularly emphasizing the need for vitamin D. The story should run in about two weeks so look for it if you get Newsweek.
Don't forget you can get some D from your diet by drinking fortified milk, soy milk and rice milk, fatty fish like salmon, shrimp, and eggs. Check the nutrition facts label to find out if a food is fortified. And of course you could also take a supplement.
Have a vitamin D filled day!