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Archive for May 31st, 2008

Sunshine Vitamin D

Posted by Nancy on May 31, 2008

There is only one vitamin the human body can synthesize on its own – vitamin D.  All other vitamins come from the food we eat, mostly synthesized by plants.

There are several forms of vitamin D, and the body creates D3, or cholecalciferol, from 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin.  It requires at least two or three weekly exposures of ten to fifteen minutes each without sunscreen, with the sun at least 45 degrees above the horizon, for this to happen.  This form of vitamin D: affects the immune system by promoting anti-tumor ability; regulates calcium and phosphorous levels in the blood; promotes bone mineralization and a strong skeleton; and is linked to decreased incidence of high blood pressure, cancer (especially colon cancer), periodontal disease, osteoporis, multiples sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, depression, and others.

I should be very healthy today.

When I went out this morning I remembered sun screen for my face, but that is all.  Four hours of trimming bushes, planting flowers, spreading mulch, pulling weeds, and in general doing way more than my body wanted to in two of the township parks gave me more than enough cholecalciferol to last awhile.  Too bad the body reaches an equilibrium point where it destroys the vitamin as it is created if you get more sun than you need – no saving it up for a rainy day.

Darn, I will have to go out in the sunshine again later this week.  And again.  Then again – all summer long.  What a sacrifice, having to enjoy the nice weather.

I didn’t get sunburned today, but I am sore from hours of trimming bushes with hand shears.  The exercise was probably even better for me than the sunshine, and with twelve people working in the parks they sure look a heck of a lot better than when we started.  Another hour or two with several volunteers to spread mulch in the one park (the township didn’t leave nearly enough at that one for all the flower beds) and we can call them done.

So remember, when you slather yourself and your kids up before going out in the sun, think of  cholecalciferol and its relationship to healthy bones and its anti-tumor activity, and all the studies coming out that say, “Oops, maybe we made a mistake when we said no one should go out in the sun without sunscreen.  Maybe you really do need some sun – specifically UVB rays.”

Moderation in all things.  Philip:4:5

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