Lack of sunlight exposure leads to vitamin D deficiency - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Lack of sunlight exposure leads to vitamin D deficiency

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The cold winter has made it next to impossible some days for people to get outside, and that lack of sun could have an impact on their health.

Vitamin D helps build strong bones and can help prevent osteoarthritis and immune system disorders. It is absorbed into the body from the sun, typically during the middle part of the day.

The Mayo Clinic says as little as 10 minutes of daily sun exposure can make a difference.

But the sun seems to be in short supply lately, and even when the sun is out, it's been so cold that many of us don't want to go outside.

"So, 30 to 80 percent of patients in the United States have low vitamin D levels, and we do see that occurs more frequently in the winter months when there's less sunlight exposure," said Dr. Kathryn Dahir, with Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Folks at the highest risk for a vitamin D deficiency are those who don't go outside at all, such as people who are in the hospital or those living in a nursing home.

If you are looking for ways to incorporate vitamin D into your diet, certain foods, like fatty fish or egg yolks, have high levels of vitamin D. Some breakfast cereals do as well.

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