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Here Comes the Sun

by School Nurse Denise Malinow
“Here comes the sun da da da da.”

We all know that iconic song by the Beatles. In fact you are probably singing it now. Sunshine is essential for our well-being. Vitamin D, which is a fat-soluble vitamin, is produced internally when UV rays from sunlight hit the skin and trigger Vitamin D synthesis. This can happen in as little as 15 minutes with no sunscreen barrier. Vitamin D is obtained from sun exposure, food, and supplements. It promotes calcium absorption, reduces inflammation, modulates call growth and most importantly increases immune function.

Yes, immune function, which is critical for us right now. No, it will not prevent COVID-19 but some studies have indicated that vitamin D supplements can enhance immune response and protect against respiratory infections. A recent review that included 11,321 people from 14 countries demonstrated that supplementing with vitamin D decreased the risk of acute respiratory infections (ARI) in both those who were deficient in vitamin D and those with adequate levels.

So, what foods are high in vitamin D? Milk is fortified with D as well as certain cereals, yogurts and some orange juices. High fat fish such as salmon and tuna as well as egg yolks and beef liver have high levels of naturally occurring vitamin D. Chicken breasts, cheese and beef have lower amounts.

If you take supplements, D3 seems to be absorbed better by the body than D2. Also take it with meals if possible for absorption reasons also. In general, adults are advised to take a supplement containing at least 800 international units (20 micrograms) of vitamin D per day to maintain a normal vitamin D level. However, some physicians are recommending higher doses during these difficult times. Check with your physician before starting any supplement as well as children’s dosing.

“Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Sun, sun , sun here it comes.”
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Lower School

Pre-K3 - Grade 6

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Grades 7-12

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