Now that spring is here it’s time to step outside and get a little sun! Although it is common practice to limit sun exposure and wear sunscreen, recent studies have shown that underexposure to sunlight can carry very significant risks – similar negative risks to those of smoking and sedentary lifestyles. Many Americans live in an area of minimal sun exposure and are therefore more prone to Vitamin D deficiency. Check this map to see if you live in one of these areas.
You may be asking yourself what’s the big deal about Vitamin D? Vitamin D is important because it regulates calcium (which helps maintain bone density) and also helps regulate the body’s immune and cardiovascular systems. Vitamin D deficiency can cause:
- low immune response
- auto-immune disorders
- mood disorders
- cardiovascular disease
Besides warding off negative health problems, Vitamin D also has many positive benefits, including:
- Better mood
Sunlight triggers serotonin and endorphins—hormones which cause a happier mood, decreased depression, and an overall sense of calm.
- Better sleep
Sun exposure helps your body more effectively produce melatonin, the hormone that aids sleep.
- Lower blood pressure
The relaxing effects of sun exposure can lower blood pressure, therefore lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Lower risk of certain cancers
Healthy levels of Vitamin D gained from sun exposure can lower your risk for certain types of cancer such as: colorectal, prostate, and breast cancer. However, be aware that sun exposure can increase your risk of skin cancer, so wear sunscreen.
- Strong bones
Getting enough Vitamin D keeps your bones healthy and strong. This is especially important for women going through menopause experiencing declining bone density.
Carlson Chiropractic Center has an excellent system to test for Vitamin D insufficiency. Before you start any supplementation program call us for an appointment so we can help make sure you get safe and adequate treatment. As always, it is our goal to help our patients live a healthier life, and Vitamin D can certainly help!
Read more about this topic at Self.com.