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Vitamin D testing more important in winter months

Category: Vitamin D Deficiency-Diagnosis and Treatment

Blood tests for vitamin D levels may be even more important during the winter months, as experts say that the single greatest source of the nutrient - the sun - becomes much weaker, leader to lower levels in most people.

The skin naturally produces vitamin D following exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. However, during the sun's rays are much weaker in the winter and people tend to spend less time outside with their skin exposed. This increases the chances of vitamin D deficiency for many people.

"Thousands of years ago, we were always outside 90 percent of the time. I just think people need to get a lot of more sunshine or skyshine in the winter, even on a cloudy day, get out and get some sun, or get some daylight. It really does make a difference to your health," Dr. Sonny Saggar, a physician at Downtown Urgent Care told St. Louis news station KSDK.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about one-third of all adults have insufficient levels of vitamin D. This number may increase during the winter months. However, blood tests for vitamin D may help individuals avoid the health risk.

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