Sunlight: A Natural Source Of Vitamin D

Here are important determinants and conditions necessary for the synthesis of vitamin D to takes place through skin with the help of sunlight.

Sunlight: A Natural Source Of Vitamin D

This blog has been written with an objective to make you aware of the stunning benefits of sunlight on our body. Sun, being the supreme in the planetary system, is seen as the main source of light on the planet earth. But do you know that it can surprisingly help us fight deficiencies and maintain a healthy version of ourselves. Sunlight provides us with the Vitamin D in its most natural form which plays a vital role in development of our body and improves resistance against various ailments relating to digestion and bones. So exposing your bare skin to sunlight can give you the right amount of Vitamin D.
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Vitamin D is composed of fat soluble secosteroids which is responsible for multiple biological effects on the body in a positive way. The critical compounds which forms Vitamin D are Vitamin D3(cholecalciferol) and Vitamin D2(ergocalciferol). The main sources to consider for the consumption of Vitamin D can be sunlight, diet and other supplements. The vitamin which you get through sunlight is vitamin D3 and is called as “sunshine” vitamin with sunlight as the medium.

Sunlight is constituted of two parts: UVA and UVB. UVA are the long wave rays which penetrate the thickest layer of the skin called epidermis and they are responsible for premature aging and wrinkles with suppression of immune system. UVB, on the other hand, are the short wave rays which reach the skin surface on a superficial level and are responsible for production of vitamin D3 in our body. However, there are some risks associated with it which are discussed in this blog post further.

Adequate synthesis of Vitamin D3 in the body tissues through exposure to sunlight is determined based on certain factors associated with it. Although, the ideal range is between 1000 IU to 2000 IU in healthy individuals which can be sourced with an exposure of about 20 to 30 minutes under the sun, provided that you have a fair skin tone.
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The factors to be considered while determining the ideal conditions for synthesis and absorption of Vitamin D through sunlight are-

  • Time Of The Day- This is the most important factor which has to be considered as the time at which you expose your skin is very crucial. The effect that it can have on your skin and body can vary, production of Vitamin D3 can be minimal at the time of early mornings and the passed mornings but the most appropriate time is in the middle of the day when skin is penetrated by the sunlight to a greater extent and production of Vitamin D3 takes place at most.

  • Location- The place where you live is also a significant factor that contributes to the ideal condition for Vitamin D synthesis. People who live close to the equator have better chances of producing Vitamin D3 in the body and it is slightly easier for them than those living in the northern or southern hemisphere as places near equator have more intense sunlight throughout the year.

  • Period Of Exposure And Skin Coverage- The unit of Vitamin D3 is also determined by the period of exposure and the area of skin that is exposed to the sunlight. The more your skin is exposed for adequate period of timings, the more you are able to reap the benefits of sunlight.

  • Skin Type- Melanin is a substance in our skin that determines the colour and tone of our skin. The skin tends to be darker with more melanin and fairer with lesser amount of melanin in it. However, melanin protects our skin from UVB rays to enter in so that people with darker skin need to spend more time under the sun in order to reap the benefits as compared to the people with fairer skin.

  • Age- Age also affects the process of vitamin D3 production. Younger aged people tend to absorb it faster than the old aged people as their skin ages with time which slows down the process and it has a harder time producing vitamin D3.

  • Sunscreen Usage- Excessive usage of sunscreens and cosmetics also prevents the UVB rays from entering the skin, thereby hindering the process of production of this sunshine vitamin within the body through sunlight.

  • Weather And Pollution- Since sunlight is essential for the synthesis to take place, it is not possible in a cloudy or rainy weather while summers are apt for this. And you must also make sure that you avoid visiting places with pollution as it hinders the whole process.

Risks Associated

Apart from the benefits exposure to UVB rays present in sunlight, there are also some risks associated with it. It can also be harmful and may cause chronic burning and tanning of the skin. Moreover, this develops the risk of skin cancer, redness, itchy skin and dehydration. Henceforth, it is advisable to avoid too much exposure to sunlight and make sure that you take proper precautions before going straight in the sun.

So folks enjoy being under the sun and reap as much benefits as you can. Hope you had a good time reading.Do visit us for more!

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