A lot of people ask me, “I spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer. Can I quit taking my vitamin D supplement?”
That really depends. There are many variables to consider:
- What is ‘a lot’? The difference between how much time we think we’re spending outdoors and how much we actually spend could be quite different. Likely if you work indoors for your job 40 hours/week, you are not spending as much time outside as is necessary for good sun exposure.
- What is your age? The older you are, the less your skin has the capacity to absorb the sun’s rays. Also, as we age, our bodies’ ability to convert the sun’s rays from the inactive form of vitamin D to the active form is much less efficient.
- What is your skin color? Darker skin tones have greater levels of melanin that reduce the skin’s ability to absorb sun’s rays and ultimately vitamin D.
- What are your serum vitamin D levels? The more optimal your level of vitamin D, the more likely you can discontinue your supplement for the summer. If not, it’s best to keep taking it. Not sure? Reach out to Kari.
- Where do you live? Minnesota??? Well, enough said. As residents in the northern hemisphere, ideal sun exposure for vitamin D conversion is VERY limited. Plus, most of the time it’s cold here, and we wear a lot more clothing that restricts our skin exposure to the sun. Clients lucky enough to live warmer places….you might be able to quit your supplement for the summer. 🙂