A Healthy Dose of Sun
For Natural Vitamin D
We all know that overexposure to the sun can cause harm. Sunburns are painful, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a contributing risk factor for skin cancer.
But it’s not all bad. The sun’s energy is critical for life on Earth, and indeed, moderate exposure can play a positive role in our individual health as well.
Exposure to UV-B radiation (highest during the midday sun) stimulates skin cells to produces vitamin D. This, in turn, helps the body absorb the important minerals calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. Calcium in particular is important for maintaining strong teeth and bones.
While no level of “tanning” is considered safe, fair-skinned individuals can get enough vitamin D by spending just 5-10 minutes in short sleeves during the midday sun. Individuals with a dark complexion living in temperate climates such as the US can take up to 6 times longer to create the same amount of vitamin D. At that level of time in the sun you may be causing more harm than good, so be sure to include sources of vitamin D in your diet. During the winter months, this applies to everyone, as UV-B radiation typically doesn’t penetrate the atmosphere enough to provide any vitamin D benefits.
Dietary Sources of Vitamin D
- Often fortified in milk, soy milk, and orange juice.
- Fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, etc.
- Egg Yolk
Furthermore, a little time in the sun has been shown to elevate the mood and combat depression. So get a healthy dose of sun—it’s good for your smile in more ways than one!
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Dr. Angela Burns moved to Austin 10 years ago and instantly fell in love with our beautiful city. Dr. Burns is originally from the Texarkana area. She attended Texas A&M for her undergraduate degree and The University of Tennessee Health Science Center for her degree in dental surgery (DDS). Dr. Burns is committed to providing her patients with gentle, technologically advanced dental treatment. She attends an average of 60 hours of continuing education every year. She is a member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Texas Dental Association, and the Capital Area Dental Society. Dr. Burns and her husband, Gary, have an 11-year-old daughter, Sydney, who is a proud 6th grader at Hill Country Middle School. She is also very involved in the Eanes PTO, her church, and loves raising her family in the Westlake community. “Growing up, I was drawn to mediating and helping others feel more included and less anxious. I was a camp counselor, student government officer and being the oldest of five, I was the family mediator. I found that I had a calling to help alleviate stressful situations for others and realized that being a good listener was something that was key to this. These skills really helped guide me into becoming a dentist that has based my practice on relationships, empathy and a sense of comfort. I knew that I wanted to provide an atmosphere that felt like home when others walked in. Our practice is small, personal and state of the art and we hope you feel like you’re hanging out with friends when you are here!” When she is not practicing dentistry, Dr. Burns enjoys traveling, hiking the greenbelt, enjoying Austin’s music scene, and eating Amy’s Ice Cream.