Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin synthesized in the skin in response to sufficient UV light from the sun. Vitamin D is important for calcium metabolism, the immune system and reducing inflammation. And it doesn’t stop there, vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of viral, microbial, and respiratory diseases (including COVID-19). A deficiency of vitamin D is linked to osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
As you can see, maintaining proper levels of vitamin D is necessary for overall health.
Here are reasons why we need to supplement with vitamin D in the summer:
- Sunscreen use lowers vitamin D synthesis since it blocks UV light from the skin. In order to get adequate vitamin D, our extremities would need to be fully exposed in the middle of the day without sunscreen for at least 20-30 minutes.
- Even though we are exposed to a lot of sunshine in Colorado, the degree at which the sun strikes the surface here makes it very difficult to create enough of this vital vitamin from the sun.
Most of us work inside and miss the sun’s rays when they are the strongest.