Vitamin D


Vitamin D is essential for our health. Vitamin D3 is produced in the skin when exposed to UV light. Long understood as important for bone health, adequate levels of vitamin D have more recently been associated with reduced risks of cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer. It is difficult to get enough vitamin D from our diet and, in higher latitudes during the winter, perhaps impossible to get enough vitamin D from sunshine.

Here are the current NIH recommendations on sun exposure and vitamin D:

Ten to 15 minutes of sunshine three times weekly is enough to produce the body's requirement of vitamin D. The sun needs to shine on the skin of your face, arms, back, or legs (without sunscreen). Because exposure to sunlight is a risk for skin cancer, you should use sunscreen after a few minutes in the sun.

Because production of vitamin D is affected by skin type as well as sun exposure, doctors often test for vitamin D blood levels and recommend supplements when they are low. Some evidence suggests that vitamin D supplements do not give the same benefits as vitamin D from food or sunshine.

SunSprite does not currently track vitamin D intake, but future software updates will have vitamin D tracking.