Posted on May 31 2016
Vitamin D: The Neglected Vitamin by Roki Prunali
Now for most of you out there (not us here in rainy Milan) the warm sun is out to play and it is the perfect time to get in your Vitamin D. Probably the Vitamin less talked about and mostly associated with the sun, which isn’t entirely wrong. The sun is one of the richest sources of Vitamin D, but those of you that live in grey cities or just do not get out enough may be lacking in Vitamin D. During my infamous visit to the nutritionist, among the many blood tests I courageously went through, Vitamin D levels was one of the requests. I was astonished to see just how low my levels were, practically non-existent. Now let’s just delve into this Vitamin D Pretty Birds.
Vitamin D plays an important role with regulating calcium in the strengthening of bones and teeth. The Vitamin D absorbs calcium in the intestines that would be otherwise excreted through the kidneys. With a Vitamin D deficiency you are more likely at risk of developing bone abnormalities as osteoporosis (fragile bones) or osteomalacia (soft bones). It also stimulates your pancreas to aid in the production of insulin.
Despite its name, Vitamin D is actually considered a pro hormone and not really a Vitamin. Our bodies are capable of producing on its own Vitamin D while getting some sun, while the other vitamins are nutrients that cannot be synthesized by the body and only introduced to the body through diet and supplements. But solely having a balanced diet is not enough to have your daily dose of Vitamin D.
Once my doctor and I went over my Vitamin D deficiency, he told me something that I thought was impossible, he told me to get sun without sunscreen. Eeekkkkk! I mean, I normally put on 50 SPF because I am so freaked out of getting burned. But Vitamin D is not absorbed into the skin while wearing most sunscreen lotions. Let’s not get crazy here, you do not have to get completely burned to get your daily dose of Vitamin D. If you know your skin, you know how long you can stay without becoming a red lobster, obviously not during times of high sun. About 5 to 10 minutes about 2 to 3 times a week is sufficient. There are also zinc based sunscreens that allow Vitamin D absorption.
Seeing as how the sun does not always like to peak out behind the clouds that normally dominate the beautiful Milan, my doctor also prescribed Vitamin D supplements, but please speak with your doctor before you self diagnose. Other forms of Vitamin D through food can be found in salmon, sardines, egg yolk, milk, yogurt, orange juice, but remember it is not solely absorbed through a balanced diet.
So get in your Vitamin D and stop neglecting this important Vitamin.