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As the weather heats up and we start spending more time outdoors, we often think about sunscreen to maintain the health of our skin.

It’s true if you intend to spend lots of time in the sun, you should use sunscreen–however, daily exposure to the sun for about 10 – 20 minutes, preferably between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for the best UVB intensity, will cause your body to produce the vitamin D you need.

To avoid sun damage, only stay out without sunscreen long enough for your skin to turn slightly pink–after that you won’t produce any more vitamin D, and you’ll begin skin damage. Generally, the darker your skin the longer you’ll need to stay out.

But, what does vitamin D do, you ask? More than you’d think! It’s been shown to prevent or influence many conditions*, including:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Cavities
  • Chrohn’s disease
  • Cold & Flu
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Diabetes 1 and 2
  • Eczema & Psoriasis
  • Hearing Loss
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Inflammatory Bowl Disease
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Macular degeneration
  • Migranes
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscle pain
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Periodontal disease
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Reduced C-section risk
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Seizures
  • Septicemia
  • Signs of aging
  • Tuberculosis

* according to Dr. Mercola

An alternative to daily sun exposure is to take a vitamin D supplement. Most studies recommend taking 5,000 IU of vitamin D daily, or 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight. Not sure if you need a vitamin D supplement? Well, knowing the importance of vitamin D, Dr. Alavi includes that level in her standard lab tests. Over the past several years, more than 95% of those tested at our clinic alone had less than optimal levels and would benefit from a vitamin D supplement. Call our office at 281-855-2273 if you’re interested in testing or supplements.

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