Is Sunshine The Only Source Of Vitamin D?
Where else can we get a dose of vitamin D?
In the Northern Hemisphere we are currently in the height of summer time. Less people are at work, the trains are less busy and so too are the freeways. In fact, even if you have not taken a summer vacation being at work right now can be a pretty nice place to be.
And, along with the lazy(ish) days come the later nights with plenty of opportunity for terrace drinks post work or time to chill in the garden. We would, therefore, naturally assume that summer time is the best period to catch all of these extra rays and get more D3 considering our main source of the vitamin hormone is from the sun.
It is known that any vitamin D3 deficiencies appear in the winter months and particularly those countries who experience very little sunlight such as Sweden which is located near the pole.
However, it isn’t all sunbathing and pool parties during the summer, and depending where you are (the UK & Ireland for instance has very erratic weather all year round) you may not really get as much UV rays as you may think. If you work indoors be it a factory or office environment you may see more daylight through the windows but there is not guarantee you will be exposed to more than any other time during the year.
You may also just be very ‘sun smart’ (a term coined by the Aussies) and be very preventative about getting sunburn by applying plenty of sunscreen and keeping covered up or staying in the shade, as sensible as this is, it can cause vitamin D deficiencies.
So while it may actually be just as difficult to get D3 in the summer as it is in the winter, what people generally miss out on is that fact it can be gained from certain foods and unless you are a park ranger or a fisherman, you probably are not getting the D3 you need.
What isn’t known by many people is that we can get vitamin D from our food and supplements.
Foods such as egg yolks, beef liver, cheese, fatty fish and others are high in vitamin D and while just foods alone will not be suffice on their own, they can certainly bolster levels to keep you healthy.
There have been studies showing that supplementation is required in order to gain the required levels that we sometimes do not get from not having enough sunlight. These can be particularly helpful in certain locations and for people whose jobs are particularly indoors or are on night shifts for example.
Many years ago when studying at college I took up a temporary role working in a boiled egg factory (yes these places do exist) during the fall. My shift started at 6am and finished at 6pm. The main body of the factory was below ground level and there were no windows. The canteen had a couple of windows and seeing as I don’t smoke I never went outside during those 12 hours. When I started it was dark and it was dark when I left, in my case, I was definitely not getting the suggested 15 minutes of sun per day.
If you are in a similar position to I was or feel that you maybe spend too little time in the sun, maybe try and spend you lunch or break outside and increase your levels with food and a supplement high in D3.