Vitamin D, Demystified (part 2)

How you get Vitamin D

Where you live in the country makes a difference in how much Vitamin D you are exposed to. You may only get enough Vitamin D exposure from May to October. The darker your skin is, the longer you need to be exposed to the sun to make enough Vitamin D.

If you were an SPF of 15 or higher, you will not be able to get any Vitamin D from the sun.  The experts are saying that the Parabens in sun block can cause cancer, so look for a Paraben free sunscreen or just use your common sense on how long to stay out in the sun. Broad brim hats and light layers can help avoid the need for sunscreen.

You need to be out in the sun long enough for your skin to turn lightly pink. This depends on your skin tone, your age, and how much of your skin is exposed. Some people say that you would have to be in your birthday suit on the Equator at high noon to get enough sun. The best way to know is get your levels tested in your blood, and ask your health care practitioner how much you need to take to replete your levels. The average person needs between 4,000-5,000 IU a day or maybe more. I have to take 10,000 IUs a day to maintain normal levels. You should get your Vitamin D levels rechecked about 8-12 weeks after starting your Vitamin D.

Stayed tuned….in my next post I will wrap up my Vitamin D update!

Dr. Nancy Scheinost
Rheumatology of Brazos Valley

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