Thursday, February 18, 2016

Shedding some light, on Sunlight - the source of vitamin D.

Queensland is often referred to as the Sunshine State. "Beautiful one day, perfect the next". We are all aware of the benefits of the sun,  but also of the risks we face. The sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation is both the major cause of skin cancer and the best source of vitamin D. In Australia, we need to balance the risk of skin cancer  from too much sun exposure with maintaining adequate vitamin D levels. Sensible sun protection does not put people at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Read also: Being vitamin D deficient is a bigger risk for type 2 diabetes than obesity.

So why do we need vitamin D?

Vitamin D helps to optimise the absorption of calcium. Adequate vitamin D levels in the body help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, falls and fracture in the elderly. For most people, vitamin D deficiency can be prevented by 5-15 minutes exposure of face and upper limbs to sunlight 4-6 times per week. If this is not possible, then a vitamin D supplement of at least 400IU per day is recommended. Read more and find out about the best exposure times:  Following is an interesting article; I thought to share it with you. - Werner

“15 facts that are important to know about vitamin D and sunlight exposure”.

The sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation is both the major cause of skin cancer and the best source of vitamin D. In Australia, we need to balance the risk of skin cancer from too much sun exposure with maintaining adequate vitamin D levels. Sensible sun protection does not put people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D prevents osteoporosis, depression, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and even affects diabetes and obesity. Vitamin D is perhaps the single most underrated nutrient in the world of nutrition. That's probably because it's free: your body makes it when sunlight touches your skin. Fifteen facts that are important to know about vitamin D and sunlight exposure:
 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 at 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 minimal levels of vitamin D into their diet.
 5. The further you live from the equator, the longer the exposure you need from the sun in order to generate vitamin D. Canada, the U.K. and most U.S. 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. That's why prostate cancer is epidemic among black men - it's 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 (SPF=8) block your body's ability to generate vitamin D by 95%. This is how sunscreen products actually cause disease - by creating a critical vitamin deficiency in the body.
 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. If it hurts to press firmly on your sternum, you may be suffering from chronic vitamin D deficiency right now.
 12. Vitamin D is "activated" in your body by your kidneys and liver before it can be used.
 13. Having kidney disease or liver damage can greatly impair your body's ability to activate circulating vitamin D.
 14. The sunscreen industry doesn't want you to know that your body actually needs sunlight exposure because that realization would mean lower sales of sunscreen products.
 15. Even though vitamin D is one of the most powerful healing chemicals in your body, your body makes it absolutely free. No prescription required

 On the issue of sunlight exposure, by the way, it turns out that super antioxidants greatly boost your body's ability to handle sunlight without burning. Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful "internal sunscreens" and can allow you to stay under the sun twice as long without burning. Other powerful antioxidants with this ability include super fruits like Acai, Pomegranates (POM Wonderful juice), blueberries, etc
 Diseases and conditions cause by vitamin D deficiency:
 Osteoporosis is commonly caused by a lack of vitamin D, which greatly impairs calcium absorption. Sufficient vitamin D prevents prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, depression, colon cancer and schizophrenia. "Rickets" is the name of a bone-wasting disease caused by vitamin D deficiency.  Vitamin D deficiency may exacerbate type 2 diabetes and impair insulin production in the pancreas.Obesity impairs vitamin D utilization in the body, meaning obese people need twice as much vitamin D.
Vitamin D is used around the world to treat Psoriasis. Vitamin D deficiency can cause schizophrenia.

Seasonal affective Disorder
(A form of depression caused by the lack of natural light during the winter months) is caused by a melatonin imbalance initiated by lack of exposure to sunlight. Chronic vitamin D deficiency is often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia because its symptoms are so similar: muscle weakness, aches and pains.

Your risk of developing serious diseases like diabetes and cancer is reduced 50% - 80% through simple, sensible exposure to natural sunlight 2-3 times each week. Infants who receive vitamin D supplementation (2000 units daily) have an 80% reduced risk of developing type 1 diabetes over the next twenty years.

Shocking Vitamin D deficiency statistics:

32% of doctors and med school students are vitamin D deficient.
40% of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient.
 42% of African American women of childbearing age are deficient in vitamin D.
48% of young girls (9-11 years old) are vitamin D deficient. Up to 60% of all hospital patients are vitamin D deficient.
 76% of pregnant mothers are severely vitamin D deficient, causing widespread vitamin D deficiencies in their unborn children, which predisposes them to type 1 diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia later in life. 81% of the children born to these mothers were deficient. Up to 80% of nursing home patients are vitamin D deficient.  Source of the article:
Read more about Vitamin D.
My thought for today. Werner
Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. - Anthony J. D'Angelo


Gaby and Ben said...

This is another excellent posting, Werner. You certainly know how to „shed light“on things. This is certainly another very interesting read and should be read by everybody, especially young people who are keen to totally “bare” themselves to the sun.

Irene said...

I have been talking about this for about 15 years. Slip slop slap masks the uptake of Vit.D. I always say it is better we educate people as to when it is safe to be out in the sun. Before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.

Jean said...

Thank you, Werner, for this interesting posting. There was so much I didn’t know about vitamin D, and sunlight. I see it all in a different “light” now – no pun intended.

Alex said...

This is a very „enlightening“posting Werner! Free vitamin D from the sun. I’m wondering why they named it Vit D instead Vit S. There were many aspects therein I was not aware of. So thank you for sharing this.