You may be surprised to learn that the sun is actually the best source of vitamin D. The sun's UVB rays enable our bodies to manufacture vitamin D in the fat layer under the skin, as long as we don't use sunscreen. The body can make enough vitamin D from sun exposure to last the entire year! And it will never create toxic levels, regardless of how long you expose your skin. Although we are taught to fear the sun, sunbathing in moderation—exposing but never burning the skin—is good for us. This may explain why the incidence of breast cancer is higher in northern latitudes than at the equator.

I encourage every woman to check her vitamin D level regularly and keep it in the optimal range. This is easily done by supplementing with about 2,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per day and getting regular, safe sun exposure. (You can even visit a tanning salon that offers UVB tanning rays.) Your breasts and your entire body will benefit. This is preventive medicine at its finest.

Dr. Christiane Northrup,a board-certified ob-gyn, is a visionary pioneer, beloved authority in women's health and wellness and the author of the groundbreaking New York Times best-sellers Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause. Her third book, Mother-Daughter Wisdom, was voted Amazon'snumber onebook of2005 (in two categories). Her latest books, The Secret Pleasures of Menopause and The Secret Pleasures of Menopause Playbook, teach youhow to experience joy, pleasure, prosperity, fulfillment and vibrant health.

Following a 25-year career in both academic medicine and private practice, Dr. Northrup now devotes her time to helping women truly flourish on all levels through tapping into their inner wisdom.

Through her exclusive Women's Wisdom Circle, Dr. Northrup shares cutting-edge medical and lifestyle advice. For more information about Dr. Northrup and her Wisdom Circle, go to

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health program.

© Christiane Northrup, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Keep Reading

  1. Staud, R., 2005. Vitamin D: more than just affecting calcium and bone. Curr Rheumatol Rep, Oct;7(5):356-64.
  2. Staud, R., 2005. Vitamin D: more than just affecting calcium and bone. Curr Rheumatol Rep, Oct;7(5):356-64.
  3. Cannell, J.J., Hollis, B.W. 2008. Use of vitamin D in clinical practice, Altern Med Rev, Mar;13(1):6-20.
  4. Cannell, J.J., et al. 2008. On the epidemiology of influenza, Virol J, Feb 25;5:29.
  5. Holick, M.F. 2004. Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis, Am J Clin Nutr, 79:362-71.
  6. Garland, C.F., et al. 2009 Vitamin D for cancer prevention: global perspective, Ann Epidemiol. Jul;19(7):468-83.
  7. Garland, C.F., et al. 2007. Vitamin D and prevention of breast cancer: pooled analysis., J Steroid Biochem Mol BiolMar;103(3-5):708-11.
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.


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