Here comes the sun

Ensuring your body has enough levels of vitamins in your blood is important because it assists in regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body and promotes a normal immune system.

Vitamin D is naturally produced by your body when it is directly exposed to sunlight. This vitamin supports your overall health but is more commonly known for the development of your teeth and bones.

Your body promotes the absorption of calcium when vitamin D is present. Lack of vitamin D can increase the risk of bone abnormalities such as rickets in children and osteoporosis which can cause fragile bones and pain. A strong, solid bone is essential to lessen the usual ache and pain in a person with advanced age. Other benefits of vitamin D consumption include:

  • Supporting immune health
  • Fighting inflammation
  • Helping treat hypertension
  • Aiding in weight loss

Tips to getting more vitamin D in your life

Feel like you need more vitamin D? Spend up to 10 minutes exposing your skin (legs, arms, and hands) to the sun two to three times a week will get you more than enough natural vitamin D and a boost of serotonin. Be sure to apply sunscreen with levels of SPF 15 or more to prevent sunburn if you will be in direct sunlight for more than 10 minutes.

If the sun is not out to play, there are other ways to ensure you are getting your vitamin intake. There are supplements that you can purchase at your convenience at any local drug store or online retailer. The over-the-counter vitamin D is as good as prescription vitamin D and quite inexpensive. Vitamin D can also be consumed by drinking orange juice or milk or eating salmon, shrimp, or egg yolks.

If you feel like your vitamin D is lacking, talk to your doctor or primary care physician (PCP) about getting your vitamin levels tested. This can be done through a simple blood draw at any primary care office.

UofL Health has more than 40 primary care locations that are safe, fast, and close to home. If you do not already have a primary care provider, start by visiting the UofL Health – UofL Physicians website. Make an appointment today by calling 502-588-4343.