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Dr. Edwards' Blog

We All Need It, But It Can Be Scarce In Winter - January 7

Though we've had a fairly mild winter so far, we still have those cloudy days when there's no trace of sunshine.  And while many of us have been advised to cover up when going outside to limit our exposure to the sun, it now seems that a little bit of sunshine is actually good for you.

New research shows the vitamin D provided by a sensible amount of sunshine can reduce your risk for several cancers and other serious health concerns. 

Professor Michael Holick, of Boston University School of Medicine says we get about 90 to 95% of our vitamin D from the sun.  "It is essential for absorbing calcium, keeping our bones healthy, and for protecting against serious chronic diseases later in life such as osteoporosis, Type II diabetes, multiple sclerosis and many common cancers."

Holick advises that we go out in the sun without sunblock for between five and 15 minutes a day, at least three times a week in spring and summer, to boost our vitamin D levels.

But in the fall and winter when the sun is eclipsed by clouds, our vitamin D supply has to come from our diets.  Foods rich in vitamin D are mushrooms, salmon, along with other fish, eggs, cheese, and milk.  We can also take vitamin D supplements if a doctor feels it's necessary.

Neither the foods we eat nor the sun alone can give us a significant amount of Vitamin D, but the combination of both can definitely make a difference.  And who can deny that seeing the sun is a huge boost to our moods!






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