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Sunshine for Gut Health

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If you’re a fan of probiotics for gut health (and maybe you already know about the connection between gut health and Vitamin D), then it may not be a huge surprise that spending time in the sun can also improve the health of your intestinal system.

A recent study published in Frontiers in Microbiology studied how this interaction occurs.  Vitamin D is absorbed through the skin during exposure to sunlight (specifically UV exposure).  Exposure to UVB raises not only Vitamin D levels but helps populate the gut with beneficial bacteria.

In order to study this, researchers studied Canadian volunteers who were living in Canada throughout the winter and did not have much exposure to sunlight during that time.  Their Vitamin D blood serum levels were measured before and after they were exposed to UVB light therapy.  UVB light therapy increased Vitamin D levels in the blood in most participants, but not everyone saw an increase in their levels of the sunshine vitamin.  However, they did see that the UVB exposure increased bacterial microbiome health.

Getting out and about this winter to maximize sunlight exposure can help your gut stay populated with the right balance of bacteria.  You can also achieve this by taking Vitamin D supplements, but it’s important to understand how Vitamin D supplements function in the body, and why some people don’t respond to supplements as well.

Vitamin D supplements’ success relies on a lot of cofactors of other vitamins and minerals and supplementation has to be managed by routine blood testing in order to help you get the best absorption.  Taking Vitamin D during times when you won’t be getting a lot of sunlight can be beneficial.  If you’d like to learn more about Vitamin D, please visit the https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/.

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