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medical

Isaac is… sunbathing?

Did you know that vitamin D isn’t really a vitamin at all? It turns out that it’s a hormone. There has been more and more research into what it does in the body and it looks like there are quite a few reasons to make sure you have enough. According to what I’ve been reading, many people here in the US are vitamin D deficient, some quite badly.

People with MS in particular are known to have really low levels. There’s some debate on which way that goes, do people get MS because they have really low levels or does MS make people deficient? In any case, people with MS need to have more than the typical person and there’s some actual benefits to it WRT MS, fewer relapses, less inflammation, etc.

I haven’t had my vitamin D level checked, but I am fully willing to believe that I’m deficient. I’ve assiduously avoided the sun my entire adult life and my recent issues with cracked teeth points to it as well. And then there’s that whole MS thing… As it turns out, us fair skinned people (IOW, freakishly white) are really good at making vitamin D with exposure to the sun. The trick is that the same UV rays that give us our vitamin D are also the ones that burn us. Sun screen helps prevent getting burned, but it also prevents getting the vitamin D…

So I am going to sit out in the sun for 10-15 minutes a day if possible and add supplements on top of that. Next time you get a check up, you might ask your doc to get your vitamin D levels checked, especially if you have darker skin and/or you stay out of the sun. It’s an important hormone, make sure you’ve got enough!

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