Vitamin D: Benefits of the Sunshine Vitamin
Summer is upon us. The plants are in full bloom, and the sun feels great on your skin. The longer days give you more energy. There are barbecues, beaches and pool parties with your name written all over them! Since you will be spending all that time soaking up the sun, there a few facts you may be happy to know about sunlight and the healing powers of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D has gone on for years as the single most underrated nutrient and only recently did it begin to get it’s moment in the spotlight. Research is showing that Vitamin D is known to help prevent osteoporosis, depression, prostrate and breast cancer and even affects diabetes and obesity. If that is not enough to get you to throw your bikini on, maybe these facts from “The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D-an exclusive interview with Dr. Michael Holick”, by Mike Adams will help persuade you.
1. Vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight.
2. The healing rays of natural sunlight (that generate vitamin D in your skin) cannot penetrate glass. So you don’t generate vitamin D when sitting in your car or home.
3. It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet. Sunlight exposure is the only reliable way to generate vitamin D in your own body.
4. A person would have to drink ten tall glasses of vitamin D fortified milk each day just to get minimum levels of vitamin D into their diet.
5. The further you live from the equator, the longer the exposure you need to the sun in order to generate vitamin D. Canada, the UK and most US states are far from the equator.
6. People with dark skin pigmentation may need 20-30 times as much exposure to sunlight as fair-skinned people to generate the same amount of vitamin D. This is why prostrate cancer is epidemic among black men—it is a simple, but widespread, sunlight deficiency.
7. Sufficient levels of vitamin D are crucial for calcium absorption in your intestines. Without sufficient vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium, rendering calcium supplements useless.
8. Chronic vitamin D deficiency cannot be reversed overnight: it takes months of vitamin D supplementation and sunlight exposure to rebuild the body’s bones and nervous system.
9. Even weak sunscreens , like spf 8, block your body’s ability to generate vitamin D by 95%. Be sure to not be outside with out sunscreen for more then 20 minutes at a time.
10. It is impossible to generate too much vitamin D in your body from sunlight exposure: your body will self-regulate and only generate what it needs.
11. Vitamin D is activated in your body by your kidneys and liver before it can be used.
12. Having kidney disease or liver damage can greatly impair your body’s ability to activate circulating vitamin D.
13. Even though vitamin D is one of the most powerful healing chemicals in your body, your body makes it absolutely free. No prescription required.
Be sure to lather on that sunscreen after no more then 10-20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure. That’s all the direct vitamin D healing you’ll need to reap the benefits. So get out there and soak up the vitamin D this summer.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons photo by Superbomba