Your Health: Daylight saving time and bone health

Some advice on how to protect your bone health.
Some advice on how to protect your bone health.
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 12:05 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Turning back the clock from daylight saving time gives you an hour more of sleep, but there could be negative consequences on your bones.

The switch from daylight saving time to standard time doesn’t just mean an extra hour of sleep. “What you’re looking at is a change in the daylight hours and when you might be exposed to sunlight,” says Dr. Caitlin Nicholson, a sports medicine physician at Rush Midwest Orthopedics. Less sunlight during the winter months is associated with low vitamin D levels.

Bones need calcium and calcium needs vitamin d to keep bones strong. Sunshine is one of the best ways to get vitamin d.

“So, in those shorter days, you’re at risk for not having enough vitamin d to create healthy, strong bone tissue.”

Low vitamin D levels could lead to poor bone health and the diagnosis of osteopenia and osteoporosis in adults or rickets in kids.

So, what can you do to protect your bones, even in less sunlight?

“Getting regular exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise, can help promote good bones or healthy bones.”

You can also get vitamin D from supplements or food sources like salmon, trout, whitefish, tuna, mushrooms, cheese, eggs, and milk. Stopping habits that are bad for your bones like smoking will help. Also, limit alcohol to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.

50% of the world’s population suffers from low vitamin D levels. Experts recommend adults aged 19 to 70, take in 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day, which increases to 800 IU per day for those 71 and older.

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