Current medical advice seems to encourage us more and more to stay away from the sun. Cover up. Stay out of the strong sun. Wear Sunscreen. Some people are truly becoming Heliophobic!
The trouble is we need the sunshine!!
And its the UVB light that is most beneficial. About 90% of sunlight is UVA which even penetrates through clouds and glass and damages your DNA, gives you wrinkles and actually destroys Vitamin D! Of course it also gives you a tan which many people like!!
UVB is only about 10% of strong sunshine in the 11 till 4 hours of summer and you don't get UVB at all over the winter. And this is a problem because in small doses UVB is vital for your Vitamin D production.
Vitamin D is converted in the Liver & Kidneys after cholesterol in your skin absorbs the sunlight.
Here in the UK many of us are indoors most of the time and if we follow the advice of covering up whenever we do actually go in the sun then we aren't going to be getting any Vitamin D. And Vitamin D is absolutely integral to ensuring optimal health and wellbeing.
If its cloudy and grey or if your shadow is longer that you are tall then you wont be producing any Vitamin D. And from October to March here in England even if you were out doors a lot you still wouldn't produce any Vitamin D. In fact the UVA would deplete your levels even more!
Stress can also deplete your D levels. Your main stress hormone Cortisol competes for the same receptors as Vitamin D. There are many reasons chronic high stress is very damaging to your health and Vitamin D deficiency is likely to be one of them.
Vitamin D supplementation is therefore absolutely essential. Though widely known as a vitamin its actually a steroid pro hormone that regulates over a thousand body processes. It helps you absorb calcium, lowers blood pressure, boosts your immune system and markedly increases testosterone levels. So yes. That's why the summer sun gives you the horn!
Vitamin D deficiency is a big factor in S.A.D/Winter blues and lowers Free Testosterone levels, causes depression, weakens bones and could even cause cancer! Just when you need it most a deficiency impairs your immune system function, hampering your bodies efforts to ward off those winter bugs.
In the summer months on those glorious sunny days we occasionally have you only need ten minutes of strong sun to get 10,000 IU's of the sunshine vitamin. But if you cover up, stay out of the sun, sunbathe behind glass or if its overcast then you wont make any at all.
How much sun you need will depend on your skin tone. The darker your skin the higher your tolerance to the sun and the longer you need to make Vitamin D. The fairer you are the more risk there is of burning so remember I am only recommending short stints of strong sun before you retreat to the shade.
In the winter months is my strong recommendation to take Vitamin D3 with K2 everyday. 5,000IU's should be sufficient. And take it with a meal containing fat as its fat soluble.
You can get some Vitamin D from food. Oily fish like Sardines and Mackerel are excellent sources. Cod Liver Oil too. And to a much lesser extent eggs and certain mushrooms. But unless your diet is really high in these you'll want to consider D3 with K2 especially over the Vitamin D Winter of October to March. Or jet off someplace and top up on some tropical beach! Ah.... now there's a good idea!!!
Disclaimer: This information is for educational use only. Always seek medical advice before making any changes to your dietary or lifestyle choices.