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Vitamin D & Managing the Arizona Sun

Surgeon General warns against the dangers of sun exposure.

The surgeon general warns about the epidemic rise in osteoporosis.

There is a direct link between osteoporosis and low Vitamin D levels.d3_5000_200x150

You need the sun to manufacture Vitamin D in your skin. It’s a complicated process that has to start with the sun on bare skin… And to complicate it further, the sun’s rays have to be at a particular angle.

Dermatologists say slather on the sunscreen, yet more and more research is connecting our desperately low Vitamin D levels to a wide variety of chronic diseases. What to do?

Know your skin type.

  • Fair skin requires less exposure and darker complexions need more.
  • Expose areas of skin less vulnerable to sun damage (and wrinkles), perhaps just your legs.
  • Short exposure…enough that when you go inside and press on the exposed area that you see a slight pinking of the skin as you release your finger.
  • Try for 2-3 days a week.

Know your Vitamin D level.

Costs of tests have become surprisingly manageable.

  • Ask us for more info about Vitamin D and other available tests next time you’re in.

Go for a mix of sun exposure and supplementation.

Check the UV Index in your area.

SunWise UV IndexThere’s an app for that!  The EPA has a SunWise UV Index app.

Below 3 and you’re not getting enough of the good stuff to make Vitamin D. As I write this; the UV Index is 11 in Scottsdale… I am not going outside! Find the sweet spot and keep it short.

Use your shadow as a clue:

As long as your shadow’s length is less than your height, you should make some D.

Think it through and make a plan. Have a little fun in the sun… safely.