Does soltice signify vitamin D time? – The Morning Call – Allentown Morning Call

Wednesday is the solstice, the first day of winter and the day in the northern hemisphere with the fewest hours of daylight.

In the Lehigh Valley, where the sun rises at 7:22 a.m. and sets at 4:38 p.m., we’ll have to make do with barely nine hours — which is why many of us are thinking about vitamin D.

Vitamin D is known to promote strong bones and teeth and mounting research suggests it also plays a role in gene regulation and other bodily functions, possibly helping to prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes and even the wintertime blues known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.

“It’s more than just a nutrient, it acts like a hormone,” said Dorothy McFadden, a bariatric dietician at St. Luke’s University Health Network. “We are still learning about it, everything that it does.”

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