Vitamin D Deficiency – Why You’re Not Getting Enough From the Sun

Vitamin D Deficiency – Why You’re Not Getting Enough From the Sun

In the heart of Winter, it’s easy to start day dreaming about spring and summer, and feeling the warmth of the sun once again. If you’ve found yourself getting lost in thought about about basking in the sun and increasing your outdoor activities, Vitamin D might be just what you’re craving.

While there are many benefits to increasing outdoor activities and getting sun exposure, one of the chief benefits is vitamin D production. Yet, even in peak summer months, it is estimated that over half of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient and that number increases during the winter.

But, before we dive into why so many are vitamin D deficient, let take a look at some of the risk factors of vitamin D deficiency.

Why Vitamin D Deficiency Matters?

Vitamin D deficiency carries some serious health risks.  This includes poor bone health, rickets, and osteomalacia, but recent studies have found that vitamin D deficiency is also associated with an increased risk of certain cancers, type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness and pain, depression, hypertension, pregnancy complications, and even the seasonal flu.

Vitamin D unquestionably has a significant influence on health and wellbeing and plays an important role in many body systems.  Scientists have identified nearly 3,000 genes that are influenced by vitamin D levels, and getting enough vitamin D is crucial for your health.

The Problem

As mentioned, even in peak summer months, when direct sunlight is most abundant, over half of the U.S. population is still vitamin D deficient.  Why?  Here are a few reasons:

Sunlight

Sunlight is composed of about 1500 wavelengths, but the only wavelengths that help your body produce vitamin D are UVB rays.  Vitamin D production only occurs when UVB rays shine directly on unexposed skin.

UVB rays from the sun actually have to pass through the atmosphere to reach