The sun – more than just a nice tan!
As you may have heard before, the most important nutrient for osteoporosis is calcium, which helps to build a strong skeleton. The route to calcium-rich products is not long since it is found in most dairy products, but also green vegetables such as broccoli. However, it is not only enough with calcium – in order for the body to be able to absorb the calcium, you also need vitamin D.
Vitamin D (not just a vitamin, but also a hormone) is produced in the skin when you are in the sun’s UVB rays, and is also found in foods such as fat fish, milk, eggs, meat, mushrooms and margarine. Vitamin D ensures that the body is able to absorb the calcium and thus helps building a strong skeleton. In Scandinavia, unfortunately, the sun is too weak in the winter to stimulate the production of vitamin D, which can be an explanation for the high incidence of osteoporosis.
During these lovely summer times, however, you do not need to be in the sun for too long to get enough vitamin D. It takes about 15 minutes of sunshine on the arms and face in the middle of the day for a person with bright skin. People with darker skin need more UV-light for vitamin D to be stimulated as darker skin filters out more UV-light.
Go out and enjoy the sun, but in a moderate amount!