The Sun is Shining with Vitamin D
Low levels of Vitamin D are now being linked to diabetes, multiple sclerosis, colon and breast cancers as well as numerous other health conditions. The dilemma exists in our mindset where we have been taught to protect ourselves from strong sunlight during the middle of the day.
Your body is able to produce Vitamin D from sunlight, but you can also get Vitamin D from supplements and small amount from a few foods that you eat. Both kinds of Vitamin D produced by the body and received from supplements are chemically altered a number of times by the body before it can actually be used.
The unique piece about Vitamin D is that when your body produces Vitamin D from the sunshine, it turns Vitamin D into a hormone. The activated hormone and supplemental sources of Vitamin D are sent to your liver and converted to 25-hydroxy Vitamin D which is the circulating form in your bloodstream. Different tissues absorb the 25-hydroxy Vitamin D and use it to manage calcium in your blood, bones and gut. It also helps cells all over your body communicate properly.
Getting the right amount of Vitamin D from either the sunlight or supplemental sources is extremely important. It can take just 10-15 minutes of direct sunlight on exposed arms and legs to get the recommended amount. The Ultraviolet B rays convert cholesterol stored in your skin into Vitamin D3 which is ultimately converted to Vitamin D. The skin is programed to stop production once enough Vitamin D3 is produced eliminating the possibility of overproduction. It is also possible for individuals to use supplemental forms of Vitamin D and a dose of 800-1,000IU per day is recommended.
Individuals Who Are At Risk?
- People with little to no exposure to the sun.
- Hospital inpatients and residents of institutions.
- Elderly people because age significantly reduces the skin’s ability to create Vitamin D3.
- Obese people because obesity causes Vitamin D3 to be stored in fat and less available for use