Vitamin D is a vitamin that most individuals don’t get enough of. It is created from cholesterol in your skin when exposed to the sun. This is why getting enough sunlight is crucial for maintaining optimal vitamin D levels.
However, too much sunlight comes with health issues. This article discusses how to safely get vitamin D from sunlight.
The Sun Is Your Ideal Source of Vitamin D
When exposed to sunlight, your skin creates vitamin D from cholesterol. The sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays hit cholesterol in the skin cells, providing the energy for vitamin D synthesis.
Vitamin D performs multiple roles in the body and is important for optimal health. For instance, it instructs the cells in your gut to absorb phosphorus and calcium – crucial minerals for maintaining healthy and strong bones.
On the other hand, low vitamin D levels have been connected to serious health consequences, including:
● Muscle weakness
Expose Your Skin Around Midday
Midday, especially during summer, is the best period to get sunlight. The sun is at its highest point at noon, and its UVB rays are most intense. This means you need less time in the sun to make sufficient vitamin D.
Multiple studies also show that the body is most efficient at creating vitamin D at noon. For instance, in the United Kingdom, 13 minutes of midday sunlight exposure during summer three times per week is sufficient to maintain healthy levels among Caucasian adults.
Skin Color May Affect Vitamin D Production
The color of your skin is determined by a pigment known as melanin. Individuals with darker skin typically have more melanin than people with lighter skin. Melanin also safeguards the skin against damage from excess sunlight. It acts as a natural sunscreen and absorbs the sun’s UV rays to defend against sunburn and skin cancers.
Regular sun exposure is the most natural way to get sufficient vitamin D. To sustain healthy blood levels, aim to get 10-30 minutes of midday sunlight several times per week. Individuals with darker skin might require a little more than this. Your exposure time should be determined by how sensitive your skin is to sunlight.
Factors affecting your ability to create vitamin D from sunlight include time of day and your skin color. If you intend to stay in the sun for a while, applying sunscreen after 10-30 minutes of unprotected sun exposure to prevent sunburn and skin cancer is best.