PCOS, Obesity, Infertility & Facial Hair Linked To Vitamin Level
Women with PCOS have been found to have worse symptoms if their vitamin D* levels were low. That is worse obesity, lower pregnancy success, excess facial hair as well as a long list of other problems. 1;2.
Unfortunately an alarming 67–85% of PCOS women have been found to have extremely low levels of vitamin D in their bodies. 2.
So it’s time to talk about a thorny issue for all Australians … sunshine exposure.
I’m sure most Aussies have known someone who has been diagnosed with a sun cancer of some type and we’ve certainly taken the message to stay out of the sun to heart. I regularly see clients with extremely low vitamin D levels who look at me in horror when I suggest their skin feels the warm rays of the sun on a daily basis without sunscreen**.
But here’s the thing… Whilst your body gets most of the vitamins and minerals it needs from the foods you eat only a few foods naturally contain any vitamin D so it’s almost impossible to get what your body needs just from unprocessed food 3.
I certainly don’t mean baking yourself like a rotisserie chicken! In fact your skin can make Vitamin D quickly, particularly in the summer. You don’t need to tan or burn your skin to get vitamin D. You only need to expose your unprotected skin for around half the time it takes for your skin to turn pink and begin to burn. Whilst how much vitamin D you make from the sun depends on the time of day, where you live in the world, your age and the colour of your skin the more skin you expose the more vitamin D is produced. 3.
Strange though it might sound some of us struggle to make Vitamin D from the sun. For this reason I encourage you to get your own Vitamin D level checked via a simple blood test your doctor can prescribe or your naturopath can order for you.
*Vitamin D is made in the body after it has been exposed to the sun, eaten in foods and can be consumed in a supplement.
**Please be sun safe and use your common sense. Never let yourself burn. If you have been given medical advice to protect yourself from the sun you must follow that advice as it has been personalised to your own body and circumstances.
3. Vitamin D Council (n.d.). How do I get the vitamin D my body needs? Retrieved from: https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how-do-i-get-the-vitamin-d-my-body-needs/