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It's warm, it's bright—the sun is generally thought to be a pretty happy component in our every day lives.  But why do we need it?  What makes it indispensable to our lives?

Two words: Vitamin D. There is a cholesterol-like compound in our blood that transforms into Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.  This Vitamin D is then converted to its active form by the liver and then by the kidneys.

Well, that begs the question, why do we need Vitamin D?  What happens if you don't have enough?  For years we've understood Vitamin D's role in regulating calcium levels and how a deficiency can cause both rickets and osteoporosis.  Today, we know that Vitamin D also has an important role as a steroid hormone in gene modulation.  This means Vitamin D can help turn on health promoting genes while suppressing bad genes, especially oncogenes, a gene-group that promotes cancer.

Spend more time in the sun.  It's an easy step towards making your life a little bit better (and brighter).


About the Author

Randy Bivens, MD

Dr. Randy Bivens graduated from Loma Linda School of Medicine, completing first an internal medicine internship, then a diagnostic radiology residency. In addition to serving as president of Life and Health Network, Dr. Bivens is also president of Bivens Medical Corporation, an imaging consulting service.

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