Women with PCOS have been found to have worse symptoms if their vitamin D* levels were low. That is worse obesity, lower pregnancy success, excess facial hair as well as a long list of other problems. 1;2.
An alarming 67–85% of PCOS women have been found to have extremely low levels of vitamin D in their bodies. 2.
So it’s time to talk about a thorny issue for all Australians … sunshine exposure.
I’m sure most Aussies have known someone who has been diagnosed with a sun cancer of some type and we’ve certainly taken the message to stay out of the sun to heart. I regularly see clients with extremely low vitamin D levels who look at me in horror when I suggest their skin feels (for them an appropriate amount of) the warm rays of the sun on a daily basis without sunscreen.
But here’s the thing… Whilst your body gets most of the vitamins and minerals it needs from the foods that you eat only a few foods naturally contain any vitamin D. Most foods that contain vitamin D only have small amounts, so it’s almost impossible to get what your body needs just from food. 3.
I certainly don’t mean baking yourself like a rotisserie chicken as Will Ferrell has in these terrifying images!
In fact your skin can make Vitamin D very quickly, particularly in the summer. You don’t need to tan or burn your skin to get vitamin D. You only need to expose your unprotected skin for around half the time it takes for your skin to turn pink and begin to burn. Whilst how much vitamin D you make from the sun depends on the time of day, where you live in the world, your age and the colour of your skin the more skin you expose the more vitamin D is produced. 3.
*Note: *Vitamin D is made in the body after it has been exposed to the sun, eaten in foods and can be consumed in a supplement.
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3. Vitamin D Council (n.d.). How do I get the vitamin D my body needs? Retrieved from: https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how-do-i-get-the-vitamin-d-my-body-needs/