See the Light
Sun exposure good for the bones.
Good Day, Sunshine — especially if you’re over 50. We’ve been hearing about the benefits of sun on our mood for a while. Now, doctors are documenting the link between calcium absorption and the daily exposure to Vitamin D the sun provides.
Without enough Vitamin D, bones become thin, brittle — and even malformed. Vitamin D prevents osteomalacia (a softening of the bones) and, when combined with sufficient amounts of calcium, assists in preventing osteoporosis (a thinning of the bones). Although Vitamin D can be found in egg yolks, liver, fish, milk, fortified cereals and supplements, the best way to get the recommended dose is through a natural dose of sunshine. Health practitioners recommend at least 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure two to three times a week. Your body absorbs the high-energy ultraviolet light through the skin and transforms the UV-B rays into Vitamin D. (You might need to use sunscreen if you’re particularly sensitive to the sun, but doing so lowers the Vitamin D absorption.)
Ohio might not be the sunniest state at this time of year, but we have our moments. When we do, get outside and take advantage of them. It’s one of the best ways to be good to your bones.
12:00 AM EST
January 16, 2009