We all know an elderly person who seemed to "beat the odds." You know... lived in their own house into their 90s... worked outdoors every day... mind was razor sharp. Research says that the outdoor part may be the most important! The study, performed in Austria, found that the majority of female nursing home patients (who are indoors almost all day, every day) are deficient in vitamin D — and the greater the deficiency the higher their mortality! Essentially, sunshine is grandma's best friend! And it's not just about adequate vitamin D for bone health. Maintaining "upper normal" levels of vitamin D (50 to 80 ng/ml) is associated with lower risks for several types of cancer. In fact, one study determined that vitamin D-deficient women have a 253% increased risk of colon cancer. Getting sunshine is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and is emphasized on The Hallelujah Diet. For light-skinned people, 15 to 30 minutes of mid-day sun exposure five to six times per week to the face, arms, hands, or back without sunscreen during the summer months is usually sufficient to provide adequate vitamin D. It is vitally important to realize that dark-skinned people require up to six times that amount of exposure to arrive at the same level of vitamin D as fair-skinned people.
When adequate sunshine is not available or not an option (don't worry, summer will get here soon), daily supplementation with 2,000 to 5,000 IU daily of a good source of D3 (calciferol) should help maintain adequate vitamin D levels so that a deficiency does not develop.
How often does your mother/grandma enjoy the sun?