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Friday, March 20, 2009

Leave The Sunscreen Off!

I get a medical magazine every month, plus I read about 300 blogs per day. Some are health blogs, and the topic of Vitamin D, has been popular lately. A thousand years ago, when I was in nursing school, we were taught about Ricketts. A disease that is pretty much no longer seen, due to the fact that so many foods are fortified with Vitamin D. Ricketts was a childhood disease caused by a lack of Vitamin D, causing bone deformities mostly of the leg bones. We were taught that one of the treatments, for these children was to let them play outside in the sun, with minimal clothing on. Now today we hear about Osteoporosis, in both young children, and especially women. Why, because of hormonal changes in women, during menopause, plus if they take birth control, and or smoke that increases their risk as well. Young children because anytime they are out in the sun, we have them covered in sunscreen, or sunblock. What is my point? My point is, even if you are taking in enough Vit D through your diet, or supplements, your body can not properly absorb the Vitamin D without sunlight. You need sunlight to absorb the Vitamin D, it is a simple solution. Now I am not telling you to let your children, or yourself, out in 99 degree heat without sunscreen, that would be irresponsible. What the health magazine suggested was that your children, and yourself go outside with your arms, and legs exposed for at least 10 minutes three times a week, without the sunscreen. Obviously this would be best, in the least hottest part of the day, to avoid the risk of burn. Then apply your sunblock, or sunscreen which has been shown to help prevent skin cancer. You can protect your skin, and still have healthy bones, by just following that simple equation. Women of menopausal age, also need weight bearing exercise to keep their bones strong. Weight bearing exercises, are exercises where your feet actually make contact with the ground such as walking, aerobics, jogging, etc. Bike riding, swimming, and air walkers are not weight bearing exercises, while they are great for weight loss, they are not great for bone strength. Happy Friday, everyone! Be safe, and have a great weekend.

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