Vitamin D: Top Reasons to Get Vitamin D from Your Diet, Not the Sun

Our bodies need vitamin D to build and maintain strong, healthy bodies. Without vitamin D, the body cannot use calcium and phosphorus, two minerals that are necessary for healthy bones. One of the top sources of vitamin D is the sun; However, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) does not recommend getting vitamin D from sun exposure (natural) or indoor tanning (artificial) because ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and tanning beds can lead to the development of skin cancer. Getting vitamin D from a healthy diet, which includes naturally enriched vitamin D foods, fortified foods, and beverages, and/or vitamin supplements offers a safer alternative. It is important to note that most problems with vitamin D deficiency are nutritional in nature; And, even though sunlight IS necessary to synthesize Vitamin D, it takes only 10 minutes of morning sunlight or casual/passive sun exposure (like through your car window) to saturate these receptors. So, tanning or prolonged exposure to sunlight will not increase your vitamin D levels more than what you are getting.

Because the amount of vitamin D a person receives from the sun is inconsistent and increases the risk of skin cancer, the RDA was developed based on a person receiving minimal or no sun exposure.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that anyone concerned about getting enough vitamin D should discuss with his or her doctor the options for obtaining sufficient vitamin D from foods and/or vitamin supplements.

Article Source: AAD.org. For more information about this and other skin-related topics, visit AAD.org

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