Should you get your vitamin D from sunlight or food? It depends on your genes and skin type.
Vitamin D deficiency is fairly common in US. Early symptoms include:
- Severe back pain
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of height
Vitamin D is essential for bone health, muscle strength and immune system support. You can get this vitamin from either food or sun exposure.
Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin. The human body can synthesize sufficient vitamin D from cholesterol when the skin is exposed to adequate amounts of sunlight. However, prolonged sun exposure increases risks of skin cancers. Should you get your vitamin D from sunlight or from your diet? Turns out, it depends on your genes and skin type.
Skin type is a key factor in determining how much risk is involved with sun exposure. People with lighter skin, such as Caucasians, burn easier and are at greater risk for skin cancer. These populations should rely more on dietary intake to meet vitamin D requirements. People with darker skin, such as Asians or Africans, can be exposed to the sun longer without as much risk and therefore may not need to depend as much on dietary intake of vitamin D.
What is your skin type? Are you getting sufficient vitamin D for your body? If sun exposure is not an option, get your vitamin D from vitamin D rich foods, such as fish, eggs, and fortified milks and cereals.
The HealthWatch 360 iPhone App and Diet Evaluator web eTool can help you find out if you are getting enough vitamin D in your diet.
GB HealthWatch Customer Care
* HealthWatch 360 iPhone app is free to download from the App Store. This app is not yet available for iPad.