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Vitamin D Important as the Sun Fades in Winter

Here in Ontario, the sun is a big topic of conversation, because we don’t get to see enough of it most of the year.  While there is a risk of over-exposure in the summertime, and you should be aware of the risks and the benefits of getting out into the sun to get sufficient vitamin D from a natural source, AKA the Sun, as the sun begins to wane here, it’s important to consider vitamin D supplementation. 

Many people have a vitamin D deficiency.  While vitamin D can be obtained from the sun in spring, summer and fall in sufficient quantities to have available stores through the winter in some latitudes, it’s very difficult to get that in more northern latitudes.  This means that supplementation is required in the winter, and even in the fall and early spring, depending on your location.

Dr. Michael Holick recently published a book called The Vitamin D Solution.  In it, he outlines specific ways to tell where and when supplementation is required.  A list of factors determining how much sun exposure you should get can be found in the Suite 101 article “Sun Protection – Sourcing Vitamin D Safely.”

When supplementation is required, vitamin D3 is considered a good alternative.  It is important to find a good quality supplement to be sure that you are absorbing and utilizing the vitamin D that you are taking in.  Vitamin D is important not only in the fight against osteoporosis, but for muscle strength and heart health as well.

For more information on the benefits of vitamin D and the results of vitamin D deficiency, see the Suite 101 article “Vitamin D Benefits, Deficiency and Recommended Daily Intake.” 

Enough vitamin D in body can make a huge difference in how you feel.  As people have been warned away from the sun over the last 40 years, and have been pushed into over-using sunscreens by the cosmetics industry, the incidence of melanoma has increased.  While no one is saying that you should get out the baby oil and the reflectors again, extremes never make sense. 

As always, moderation is the key and information is available for you to make sure that you get enough vitamin D to be healthy and safe without exposing yourself to dangerous levels and types of sun radiation.


Val Tobin



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