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Nurse Notes #1

Sunlight will prompt our skin to make vitamin D, which may help fight COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean you should sunbathe without sunscreen. Years ago, I had a very holistic doctor who advised me to strive for 10 minutes a day of sunlight without sunscreen, in order to boost my vitamin D level. Like I said, that was years ago. As we age, our skin’s capacity to produce vitamin D with sun exposure decreases. People with darker skin need more sun exposure to make vitamin D. If you’re outside for an extended time, you’ll want to put on sunscreen and wear protective clothing. Tanning is not recommended. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and people who are obese may have low levels because body fat can trap vitamin D and keep it from reaching the blood stream. Diseases that result in poor fat absorption including celiac disease and Crohn’s disease can lead to poor absorption of vitamin D from the diet. Those with chronic kidney disease or liver disease may not be able to process vitamin D properly and those with osteoporosis or more at risk for deficiency. Your doctor can check for vitamin D deficiency with a blood test. Recent research indicates that healthy vitamin D levels may make infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus less likely and reduce the body’s inflammatory response to the virus, helping to limit severe complications. Clinical trials are in

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