Where’s the sunshine vitamin?
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
When the sun sets early, the nights get long, and the temperatures keep kids inside, it’s harder to get the sunshine on the skin that spurs the body to create vitamin D. And a researcher at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has seen how that affects kids.
Babette Zemel checked data on healthy children in the Northeast. Her study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
``In the winter, when there’s less sunlight exposure, your vitamin D levels drop. And we found that 68 percent of children had low vitamin D levels in the winter.’’ (10 seconds)
Sunlight is an easy way to raise vitamin D levels, but Zemel says it’s hard to get enough sunlight on a Northern winter day. Fortified milk is a good way to get vitamin D.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011