Since it is summer, many of us are able to get more Vitamin D. Thanks to a patients suggestion, here are some simple facts about why sun exposure is the superior method of achieving adequate vitamin D.
Vitamin D is produced in the body after UV-B sun exposure on the skin. When 80% of the skin becomes a slight pink, you have absorbed the maximum amount for that day. We can absorb between 15,000-20,000 IU of vitamin D from the sun per day. Being out in the sun enough every 2 days to turn the skin pink will have you achieve around 80 on a blood test, which is ideal. Sunscreen blocks UV-B rays and should not be warn if you are hoping to acquire Vitamin D from the sun. If you have a darker complexion, you may have trouble absorbing D from the sun.
There are a few reasons why vitamin D levels may not rise adequately. Conversion in the body requires adequate liver, kidney and small intestine function. If kidney function is compromised or the liver does not produce enough bile, vitamin D levels will remain low. If the intestinal absorption is an issue, D levels will not be within the normal range. Celiac disease, leaky gut syndrome, Crohn’s, food allergies/sensitivities to casiene and gluten are all examples of conditions that will impair small intestine absorption of vitamin D. Some supplements are not well absorbed. Avoid Vitamin D2 and only use D3. Obesity is correlated with lower vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D supports a healthy bone structure, immune system, cardiovascular system, helps to maintain a healthy weight, hormonal balance and helps absorb calcium and phosphorus, to name a few benefits. So enjoy your summer, enjoy the sun and get healthier in the process.