People Aren’t Getting Enough Sun, Vitamin D

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Americans need to get away from their computers and get some sun. Three out of every four American teens and adults aren’t getting enough vitamin D, the nutrient you can get from standing in the sunshine. And the problem is getting worse, according to research published in Archives of Internal Medicine and reported by Scientific American: From 1988 to 1994, 45 percent of people tested had sufficient vitamin D. One decade later, that number had dropped to 23 percent. Among African Americans, 12 percent had sufficient vitamin D a decade ago, while just 3 percent of people had the recommended levels more recently.

Vitamin D deficiencies, “are increasingly blamed for everything from cancer and heart disease to diabetes,” according to the Scientific American. The study’s co-author Adit Ginde blames the lack of vitamin D in part on the proliferation of sunscreen and other efforts to prevent skin cancer. A lack of vitamins in regular diets also may play a role.

Some of the study’s critics claim the results inflate the problem, but still admit that vitamin D deficiencies are hugely prevalent and problematic.

Image by Brian Moore, licensed under Creative Commons.

SourceScientific American

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