Daylight Saving Time Can Affect Your Vitamin D?

With the end of U.S. daylight saving time already on most people’s dislike list, here’s yet another reason to bemoan the earlier sunset: With less sunlight exposure, it’s difficult to get the vitamin D your body needs. And for those who live at higher latitudes, it’s nearly impossible in the fall and winter to make enough vitamin D from sun exposure alone. Vitamin D, which is produced when your skin is exposed to sunshine, is one of many nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy. This so-called “sunshine vitamin” helps the body absorb calcium and blocks the release of parathyroid hormone, both of which are important for strong bones. Vitamin D is also needed for healthy muscle and nerve function, and for proper functioning of the immune system. According to the Institute of Medicine, a vitamin D supplement is a good idea, since naturally vitamin D-rich foods are limited. For most people aged 9-70, the recommended dietary allowance is between 600 and 4,000 IUs. Be careful when taking supplements, however, since overly high levels of vitamin D can be harmful. To get more D from foods, choose fortified breakfast cereals and dairy products, as well as fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Be aware that certain medications can interfere with vitamin D production and absorption, including antacids, diuretics, steroids (such as prednisone) , calcium channel blockers, and some weight-loss products.

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