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I was happy to see that you mentioned sunlight exposure as well as vitamin D. Sun exposure is really the most natural way to produce vitamin D, which is only one of many photoproducts produced by the body when exposed to sun.
Here are a few facts about sun exposure:
1. Full-body sun exposure can produce up to 20,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D in 20 minutes. 2. A Spanish study shows that women who regularly seek the sun have less than one-tenth the hip fracture risk as women who avoid the sun. 3. Women who totally avoid the sun have 10-times the risk of breast cancer as those who are out in the sun regularly. 4. A 20-year Swedish study shows that sun avoidance is as bad for the health as cigarette smoking. It also showed that women who sunbathed regularly had half the risk of death from all causes compared to those who stayed indoors. 5. Men who work outdoors have half the risk of melanoma as those who work indoors. 6. Beyond vitamin D, sun exposure produces serotonin, endorphin, nitric oxide and BDNF, which are all essential to human health.
Vitamin D is good, but sun exposure is so much better, because it provides vitamin D plus other life-saving photoproducts. Thanks again for mentioning sun exposure.
Scientific references for the above comments can be found at http://sunlightinstitute.org/ .
It is important to remember that calcium does not only come from dairy products, but also from many vegetables, beans, and nuts, and dried fruits. These do not exert a high acid load on the body( like it is with v high protein intake- ex too much dairy), thus fending off calcium depletion from bones. Is it not surprising that osteoporosis increased in parallel with exaggerated increased consumption of dairy products?! Recently in that regard, a study showed that intake of corn decreases osteoporosis risk. One more thing about osteoporosis in postmenopausal women; intake of calcium and vitaminD contributes around only 10% to osteoporosis amelioration, while physical activity-namely walking, is a greater contributor!