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New Claims for the Sunshine Vitamin

A good view of my vitamin D processing array. Vitamin D production can be regulated using a device called a “hat.”

Evidence is mounting that vitamin D can help prevent some cancers. That sounds promising, and gee, since milk is fortified with vitamin D, all but the lactose-intolerant are protected, right? Well, it turns out foods and supplements aren't the most efficient way to assimilate the vitamin. Fortunately, vitamin D is created naturally by the skin when it is exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Those are the same rays that can cause skin cancer, of course, but apparently, the benefits of moderate exposure outweigh the risks.

This wasn't good news to me, because I have always avoided the sun. I burn easily, and my father had a few patches of skin cancer. Those are my principal reasons anyway. (Truthfully, I'm just not that “outdoorsy.”) Anyway, I was concerned that I wasn't getting enough vitamin D. Then my wife reminded me that with all that exposed skin on my head, I can generate more than enough vitamin D with the briefest of exposures. Cool.

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