As we scour the Internet for all the best research and latest developments in the world of vitamin D, we occasionally come across compelling personal stories that we think should be presented in their entirety, without making any changes to them. In reaction to a story about the benefits of taking pill-form supplements of vitamin D, a woman named Shelly shared her personal journey through vitamin D deficiency:
While I understand your focus on Vitamin D supplements, I do feel the most effective and efficient way to get and maintain a healthy Vitamin D level is completely ignored here. I am talking about sunshine and UV exposure. Moderate UV exposure is the best and most natural source of Vitamin D.
In early 2012 I was diagnosed with severe Vitamin D deficiency. I am very fair skinned and would burn any time I was outdoors for more than 10 minutes. My blood level was at a dangerously low 11ng/ml. My doctor recommended tanning as a possible solution due to the controlled dosage of UV that could help me gradually build my level naturally. I worked with a professional salon where my skin type was assessed as a very fair skin type 2. They understood the best approach for me was to be very conservative. I tanned just 3 minutes 2-3 times a week. As time went on, I slowly increased my time by a minute each week. I carefully monitored my skin's reaction to the process to ensure I wasn't burning. After a few months I was tested again and my blood level was 75ng/ml. I did it without supplements and did it faster than supplements would have taken. While I firmly believe that Vitamin D should be an important part of a person's health, I feel that all options should be looked into for each individual. Tanning worked for me, it may not work for everyone. But it should be acknowledged that sun exposure, or tanning could be a viable option for people like me. We shouldn't always have to rely on supplements for everything.
Although we haven’t taken a strong position on the use of artificial tanning equipment for the purposes of vitamin D intake, we can only applaud Shelly’s careful and rational management of this process to produce great results – going from 11 ng/ml to 75 ng/ml. That is a real vitamin D victory!
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