Omaha Public Radio News
12:06 pm
Fri July 23, 2010

It's the middle of summer, are you getting enough sunlight? One Creighton expert says, "Probably not."

Omaha, NE – Even in the middle of summer, you can be Vitamin D deficient.

Dr. Joan Lappe is the Criss-Beirne Endowed Chair of Nursing at Creighton University. She says Vitamin D is actually a hormone that is essential to the functioning of many cells in our body. Dr. Lappe says getting enough Vitamin D in the human body has been shown to improve bone health, prevent respiratory infections and may help in the prevention of cancer. She says because many of us work inside all day, we miss out on the primetime to pick up our Vitamin D from the sunlight and are Vitamin D deficient.

Dr. Lappe says if you want to get Vitamin D from the sunlight you need to go outside between 10 and 3 without sunscreen on, "If you're just out there long enough to get the skin a little pink, you've probably had enough sunlight. For people who are darker skinned, of course they don't have that clue and for people who just don't want to take the chance, then Vitamin D supplements are a great alternative."

She says not getting enough Vitamin D may cause you to develop more colds as well as increase your risk of diabetes.