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How Sesame Street Can Keep You Healthy: The ABCs of Vitamin D

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danielsmith2As I write this, the sun is shining and the temperature reads 70 degrees. Although inside, I probably should be outside in short sleeves getting my daily dose of vitamin D. Vitamin D has been the subject of a tremendous amount of research in the past decade. Molecularly, vitamin D is closer to being a steroid than a vitamin and resembles cholesterol in structure. Most people understand that the sun stimulates the skin to produce vitamin D; the cultural norm that encourages avoidance of the sun through use of long sleeves and sun block has led to a chronic deficiency of vitamin D. While I understand the risks associated with sunburns, I feel that direct daily sun exposure is essential for health, and I am especially concerned about the compulsion to use conventional sun screens, which contain carcinogenic constituents. It has been estimated that the RDA of vitamin D (a paltry 200 IU for adults) can be synthesized with the exposure of 30 percent of a person’s skin for 30 minutes at Oregon’s latitudes.  Click here to continue reading…

 

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