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A little more sun exposure may be good for vitamin D levels

Category: Vitamin D Deficiency-Diagnosis and Treatment

Many people are wary of spending too much time in the sun, and rightfully so. Extended periods of sun exposure can cause painful burns and even increase the risk of skin cancer. But experts say this does not mean people should shun the sun entirely. A few minutes each day may be necessary for avoiding unhealthy blood tests for vitamin D.

The nutrient is produced in the skin after it exposed to the sun. Since there are relatively few natural food sources of vitamin D, people who never expose their skin to the sun are likely to have insufficient levels of the nutrient.

For this reason, Alan Silman, the medical director of Arthritis Research UK, told the BBC that people should try to get a few minutes of sun exposure each day, particularly when the sky is clear. This may help them avoid nutritional deficiencies, which could eventually lead to serious cardiovascular and skeletal complications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that up to one-third of adults in the U.S. has insufficient levels of vitamin D, as measured by blood tests.

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