Sun brings Portlanders natural vitamin D

Sun brings Portlanders natural vitamin D

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by Erica Heartquist

Bio | Email | Follow: @EricaHeartquist

kgw.com

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 10 at 10:58 AM

PORTLAND -- The sun was out much of the day Monday and all weekend, a big deal after the wettest March on record. In Portland these days, everyone seems to be enjoying the extra doses of vitamin D.

"It's beautiful, it's beautiful," said Portland resident, Jet Ready. "I was depressed and it does that to you, it's a seasonal thing so yeah, it does get to you."

He's right, according to Dr. Miles Hassell, the Medical Director of the Providence Integrative Medicine Program.  "Some people just don't respond well to the darkness, explained Miles Hassell. "The lack of light stimulation in the brain through the eyes tends to cause changes in hormonal levels. That can really change how people perceive the world and then we have something called Aeasonal Affected Disorder."

With the lack of sun we've had the past several months, Hassell said many people are in need of some vitamin D. "No matter how much you're outside in this latitude during the winter, you're probably not going to form much vitamin D simply because the light intensity is too low for most of us."

The best thing to do, he said, was "to have as much of your body exposed as you legally can to get the maximum vitamin D. Getting ten to twenty minutes [of sun] most days when you can without sunscreen will allow you to get enough sun to form vitamin D effectively."

But after that, he said, apply sunscreen to avoid being burned.

Hassell added that another way to get vitamin D is to take no more than a tablespoon per day of cod liver oil, or eat oily fish like salmon or tuna.

One thing is certain, the recent sunshine and warmth was more than welcome.

Clarissa Dearborn of Beaverton told KGW,  "I love, love, love it."

Everywhere you looked, people have been wearing shorts, enjoying our suddenly sunny weather.

"This is really warm to us, so we wear shorts," said Rachel Borth,visiting from Michigan with friend Tyler Salvey.

Whether people were playing an outdoor game of chess or crocheting a hat on a bench, just being outside in the sun felt good.

"It feels really good, we love it! It's not raining, it's not wet and it's just perfect," said Dearborn.

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