One of the hottest topics in health news today is vitamin D- the “Sunshine Vitamin”. This is a really an interesting vitamin because as well as getting vitamin D in our diets, we also derive 40-50% of our circulating vitamin D by the effects of exposure to sunlight. The sun converts provitamin D stored in our skin to the type we need circulating in our blood. From late summer to mid- winter vitamin D levels decline due to the lack of exposure to sunlight.
So why do we need vitamin D? It is needed for bone mineralization and the bone in our bodies is constantly being rebuilt. Vitamin D will therefore help prevent fractures. There are reports that vitamin D deficiency and diseases such as cancers (colon, prostate, breast), auto immune diseases ( ie multiple sclerosis), cardiac disease and diabetes and of course osteoporosis. But links to all of these are not clear and more research needs to be done.