FSB Author Article
The Sun and Vitamin D
By James E. Dowd, M.D. and Diane Stafford,
Authors of The Vitamin D Cure, Revised Edition
Most people mistakenly think that they get enough vitamin D from casual sun exposure or their diets. Unfortunately, this is not true. People in today's urban digital society rarely get enough sun exposure to fill their vitamin D requirement, and nondietary sources must meet about 90 percent of your daily D needs.
The more melanin you have in your skin and the faster you tan, the more sunlight you need to convert pre-vitamin D to vitamin D you can use. The melanin in your skin acts as a natural sunscreen that blocks up to 90 percent of UV light. Dark African Americans need about seven times as much sunlight as fair-skinned European Americans to manufacture the necessary amount of vitamin D.
When equatorial dwellers immigrate to the United States, they move from overexposure at the equator, and their melanin, which once provided protection from the sun, now turns into a handicap in making vitamin D. This is a major reason for African Americans' higher incidence of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, gout, heart disease, systemic lupus, and cancer.
You may be thinking, I just need to take this book to my doctor and ask for a prescription to move to Florida or Southern California so I can get enough sunshine.
That's not the solution, and here's why: you have to live a lifestyle that lets you get outside to soak up sunlight. If your lifestyle doesn't allow that, you could live in Hawaii and be D deficient.
You won't see much difference in the D levels of people living in Florida and those from the northern United States, simply because culture, urbanization, and technology have lured all of us indoors and out of the sun during the last quarter century. Moreover, the smog in large metropolitan areas decreases D production, compared to rural areas at the same latitude.
The casual sunlight exposure of today's urban lifestyle isn't enough to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D, no matter what your latitude. That's why the Vitamin D Cure is essential!The above is an excerpt from the book The Vitamin D Cure, Revised Edition by James E. Dowd, M.D. and Diane Stafford. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.
Copyright © 2012 James E. Dowd, M.D. and Diane Stafford, authors of The Vitamin D Cure, Revised Edition
James E. Dowd, M.D., co-author of The Vitamin D Cure, Revised Edition, is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Michigan State University and the founder and director of both the Arthritis Institute of Michigan and the Michigan Arthritis Research Center.
Diane Stafford, co-author of The Vitamin D Cure, Revised Edition, has published more than twelve books, including Migraines For Dummies and No More Panic Attacks.