There may be a lot more to that old adage to get plenty of fresh air and sunshine for good health than most people suspected — at least, the sunshine part. Twenty minutes of daily exposure to sunlight might be enough to improve cardiovascular health, suggests a new study. Researchers found that men deficient in vitamin D were substantially more likely to suffer a heart attack. Vitamin D is produced by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight — thus, it is known as “the sunshine vitamin.”
Earlier studies have also linked vitamin D deficiency to colon cancer, breast cancer, and diabetes. Vitamin D insufficiency may also be a factor in high blood pressure, tuberculosis, periodontal disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, depression, schizophrenia, seasonal affective disorder, and several autoimmune diseases.