South central Nebraska is far enough north that for most of the year, even when the skies are clear and sunny, people don’t typically get enough of an important vitamin.
Vitamin D, which is important to calcium metabolism and bone health, is produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight. The body converts Vitamin D2 to Vitamin D3, the active form of the vitamin.
“Unfortunately, at the latitude we’re at you cannot convert D2 to D3 anytime between October and March because the angle of the sun is so much different,” said Chris Page, director of laboratory services at Mary Lanning Healthcare. “So we try to utilize Vitamin D3 supplements to get that level up.”
This year, for the first time in its 29-year history, the Vital Signs Health Fair introduced Vitamin D testing.