If you are a science geek like me, you'll like this online sun tracker. It tells the angle of the sun on any day in any city. Today, here, the sun hit 27.6 degrees at its highest. In New York, the sun was at 50 degrees of angle at solar noon. In Southern California, 60 degrees. I believe the optimum height for Vitamin D production is between 25-45 degrees, something to do with the angle and UV-A, UV-B light. Here is a study, if you like to read!
This was supposed to be a post about Vitamin D, and maybe it will turn into one in the comments, but I'm going to take, instead, a cue from blog co-author Gemma, and leave you with song and dance instead!
So, let's talk about Vitamin D. Anyone measure their blood levels? Who supplements? Study question: Why do doctors prescribe Vitamin D-2?
What about food sources? Did you know putting mushrooms in the sun causes them to form Vitamin D that you can then eat?
Are supplements as good as sunshine?
And, let's read some more:
Inflammation and vitamin D: the infection connection (click "download pdf" for full)
In case that link does not work, some excerpts:
- Evidence that vitamin D supplementation cures or prevents chronic disease is inconsistent.
- Attention to the alternate hypothesis—low 25(OH)D is a consequence of the chronic disease process, provoked by persistent intracellular infection—may be crucial to reversing this trend and needs further research.
- Circulating levels of 25(OH)D may not be an accurate reflection of vitamin D status.
- Human cells live in harmony with many types of microbes but some microbes may become pathogenic under commonly experienced conditions.
- The innate immune system is designed to kill pathogens via 1,25(OH)2D- mediated VDR transcription of anti-microbial peptides but microbes may use strategies which down-regulate the VDR in order to live and reproduce within nucleated host cells.
- Failure of the immune system to mount an effective anti-microbial response results in persistent intracellular infection. This induces relentless inflammation (immunopathology) which causes tissue damage and dis- ease symptoms.
And, a D-lightful abstract.
- Throughout evolution, exposure to sunlight and the photosynthesis of vitamin D(3) in the skin has been critically important for the evolution of land vertebrates.
- It is estimated that exposure in a bathing suit to 1 minimal erythemal dose (MED) is equivalent to ingesting between 10,000 and 25,000 IU of vitamin D(2). The importance of sunlight for providing most humans with their vitamin D requirement is well documented by the seasonal variation in circulating levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D].
- The associations regarding increased risk of common deadly cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular disease with living at higher latitudes and being prone to vitamin D deficiency should alert all health care professionals about the importance of vitamin D for overall health and well being.