Memorial Day Weekend respectfully honors brave soldiers who died protecting our country and also serves as the kick-off weekend of summer here in the US.  This is that wonderful time of year when we can make our own through our skin by exposing our arms, legs and face to 20 minutes of full sun daily. More sunbathing than that can cause sunburn, especially if you are out between 10am and 2 pm when the sun’s rays are strongest.  (NOTE: You’re not making your own if you wear sunblock.) 

Vitamin D, also known as , acts more like a hormone than a fat-soluble vitamin in the body.   It regulates absorption and is absolutely crucial for healthy bones, teeth, blood vessels and immunity.

I test most of my patients Vitamin D levels because deficiency is practically an epidemic in our country.  Low vitamin D is linked to all kinds of health problems from osteoporosis to depression.  It is hard to get the active form, or cholecalciferol, in food.  There are small amounts in cod liver oil, butter and egg yolks but the best way to get our vitamin D is by synthesizing it ourselves using the sun.  The next best way is supplementing with a quality Vitamin D3 supplement. Visit a naturopathic physician for more information about the best Vitamin D dose for you, especially  if you have never had your Vitamin D level tested. 

Now that the sun is shining and the weather is sweet, I highly recommend getting out there and enjoying it in small doses every day!   

Margaret Philhower, ND