Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for the body which plays a major role in bone growth, bone healing, and immune system function. The sun is unarguably one of the best sources of vitamin D for the human body as it is produced in the skin following adequate exposure.
Several factors can affect how much vitamin D your body can make from exposure to the sun, such as time of day, geographical location, skin color, and even wearing sunscreen. Essentially, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium which is one of the main building blocks of the human bones. The body also needs vitamin D to keep the nerves, muscles, and immune system working properly. Vitamin D deficiencies can cause soft bone conditions such as rickets or osteomalacia, and the porous, fragile bone condition called osteoporosis which is why getting a frequent sunbath is great for your health.
The body requires a steady source of vitamin D for many different processes and as such, spending even a short time in the sun can provide the body with just about enough vitamin D it needs for the day however, getting too much of it can be equally risky to your health, so you want to exercise some caution to avoid skin burns or even worse skin cancer.
There are also a few foods such as Eggs, sardines, and salmon which naturally contain significant amounts of vitamin D, as well as dietary supplements formulated for people who may be deficient. When choosing dietary supplements to use remember to go for vitamin D supplements with vitamin K2(M-K7). Vitamin K2 is equally important for absorption and optimal use of vitamin D in the body.
Useful Tips for getting vitamin D from the sun
The sun provides a reliable source of vitamin D when your skin is exposed to its ultraviolet B rays(UVB). The UVB rays interact with a protein called 7-DHC in the skin, converting it into vitamin D3, the active form of vitamin D.
Many factors can affect how much vitamin D a person can get from the sun, such as:
• Time of day: The skin produces more vitamin D when in the sun at midday, this is because it is at its highest point at that time, when spending prolonged time in the hot sun, wear sunscreen, and stay hydrated.
• Amount of skin exposed: The more skin a person exposes, the more vitamin D the body will make.
• Skin color: Pale color skin makes vitamin D more quickly than darker colored skins.
• Also, certain individuals may not activate vitamin D to a usable state.
This category of people may find themselves at risk of vitamin D deficiency, including:
- Older people
- People with darker skin
- People who are obese
- People with kidney or liver disease