Get outside and get your vitamin D the natural way, New York University Nutrition Professor Marion Nestle advised NPR listeners, also explaining that obtaining vitamin D through supplementation can be confusing and risky.
“It’s much better to go out in the sun because if you’re out in the sun, you’re creating the hormone in the way that it’s supposed to be created. And you have to think of [supplementation] as hormone replacement therapy, with all of the confusing and unknown and risks associated with hormone replacement therapy,” Nestle said.
“This isn’t something that you want to do lightly. It’s not really a vitamin in the sense that we get vitamins from food. It’s much more complicated than that. So I would say get outside, be active, eat a healthy diet.”
Nestle went on to explain some of the misunderstandings involving the role of vitamin D in the body and the inconsistency of research on the subject.
“The other problem about it is that it’s very difficult to measure the active hormone,” she said. “So instead, doctors measure an intermediate and synthesis of the hormone, which may or may not be related to actual hormone activity. So it’s a mess, and it’s complicated. And it’s not surprising that studies come out with lots and lots of different results.”
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