Longer hours of sunlight are a boost to everyone’s mood, and there are good reasons for that. Getting adequate sunlight is essential for our musculoskeletal integrity; without it, we’re at greater risk of losing bone tissue. At the Carrollton chiropractic office of Dr. Peter Lazarnick (Dr. Pete), we assist people suffering from all sorts of musculoskeletal conditions, but we also want our patients to understand the value of preventive care. If you’re interested in the relationship between sunlight, Vitamin D, and bone structure, read on.
Calcium is the main component of bone tissue, but our bodies can’t produce it on their own. They need to absorb it from our food, but in order to absorb it, they need a chemical called Vitamin D. This chemical is produced by our skin when it’s exposed to sunlight. If we don’t eat enough calcium or are unable to absorb it because we aren’t getting enough sunlight to synthesize Vitamin D, our bones will resorb tissue faster than they’re able to replace it. As a result, they will become thin and honeycombed, which is the key feature of osteoporosis. When this happens to our vertebrae, they can easily develop small fractures that will cause them to collapse under their own weight.
Fortunately, it’s easier for most of us to get adequate sunlight during the spring and summer. Although we don’t want to expose ourselves to sunburn, fifteen minutes of direct sunlight three times a week is good for most people, with those who have darker skin or are older needing a bit more. Dairy contains large amounts of calcium, as do foods that are fortified with it, such as many breakfast cereals.
Dr. Peter Lazarnick is located at 486 Bankhead Hwy, Carrollton, Georgia, 30117. To schedule an appointment, call 770-832-2226 or visit www.askdrpete.com.