The Sunshine Vitamin
By Norma E. Roth
The most commonly consumed vitamin supplements are vitamin C and E, but vitamin D is rapidly on the rise. Vitamin D gets an A for promoting strong, healthy bones by regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorous in our bodies.
All women, but particularly those who are menopausal or post-menopausal, are at risk for osteopenia and osteoporosis, conditions characterized by weak and fragile bones. A Dexa scan is used to diagnose these conditions and is a great predictor of fracture risk. The key for maintaining healthy bones and teeth is having a sufficient amount of vitamin D.
Vitamin D, the so-called sunshine vitamin, got its nickname because our bodies produce it when our skin is exposed to sunlight. But nowadays, as we use sunscreen more regularly and limit outdoor activities to protect ourselves from harmful UV rays, our bodies are absorbing less sunshine. As a result, we’re producing less vitamin D; in fact, vitamin D deficiency is on the rise in the United States. A deficiency can lead to bone loss, soft bones and even osteoporosis. Many Americans mistakenly believe they aren’t at risk for vitamin D deficiency because they consume foods and beverages fortified with it. While it’s important to eat a balanced diet and consume foods rich in vitamin D and calcium, this is not enough to maintain sufficient vitamin D levels.
Speak with your health care professional about your vitamin D levels to determine if supplements and some extra rays of sunshine are needed. And when a Dexa scan is in order, turn to South Jersey Radiology Associates. SJRA offers the Dexa scan at the Women’s Centers in Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Greentree (Marlton), Turnersville, Voorhees, Washington Township, Cross Keys, and West Deptford.
About Norma E. Roth
Norma E. Roth, a breast cancer survivor, is a freelance journalist for health wellness and sustainable living. She is an advocate for annual mammography screening, believing early detection is the key to cancer survival. You can learn more about her at www.normaeroth.com.