How To Check If Uvb Is Available For A Healthy Dose Of Vitamin D
The sun must be above an angle of 50° from the horizon in order for UVB to penetrate the earths atmosphere. Otherwise, you could have it just bouncing right off. The following steps will help you find out if you are actually getting the right amount of good sun onto your skin.
Its mid December, which means there is only a small chance of finding a 50° and above reading. So for this example, we decided to move into the future and show you when the best times would be to get some Vitamin D from the sun. Here are the results for the May 14, 2016 UVB penetration chart.
Weve highlighted the areas where it reads 50° and above. The chart shows the best time to get some Vitamin D from the sun would be between 10 oclock in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon.
Trying to follow this time table will help reduce your risks for many deficiencies, including damage that harmful radiation can give you from natural sunlight. In case any damage occurs, you will be happy to know that light therapy, also form of light that provides your skin with wavelengths of light penetration, can be very helpful in a variety of treatments of damaged skin.
Why Shouldnt Everyone Just Take Vitamin D Supplements
Too much vitamin D can be harmful, including increasing fractures, falls, and kidney stones, and can be toxic by causing excessive levels of calcium. Although not proven, high vitamin D levels have been associated with prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and mortality. A recent study found that use of high-dose vitamin D supplements increased over a 15-year period.
So how much is too much? For adults, toxic effects increase above 4,000 IU per day. The recommended dietary dose of vitamin D is 600 IU each day for adults 70 and younger and 800 IU each day for adults over 70. To put this into perspective, 4 ounces of cooked salmon contains approximately 600 IU of vitamin D.
Influences To Vitamin D Absorption
Carpenter noted the recommended 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight is an estimation. The rate of vitamin D absorption can be influenced by external factors like the amount of pollution in your city. She also says the closer you are to the equator, then the less time you need in the sunsomeone in Canada may absorb vitamin D slower than someone in Mexico. The amount of melanin in your skin can also influence the rate of vitamin D absorption. In other words, the more melanin in your skinthe darker your skin colorthen the slower you absorb vitamin D from the sun.
Additionally, the use of sunscreen can prevent the bodys absorption of vitamin D, but this is not an excuse to avoid using sunscreen. Your body really only needs 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight to absorb enough vitamin D, and that is all your body can absorb at one time. So, after that 15 minutes in the sun, your body starts to dispose of the extra vitamin D. More specifically, if you are in the sun for an extended period of time, you absolutely need to wear sunscreen because you will not be absorbing vitamin D the entire time.
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Are You At Risk For These Common Nutrient Deficiencies
Yet very few foods have enough vitamin D to reach recommended daily intakes, and sunshine can be unreliable in certain climates. Men and women relying on sourcing vitamin D through diet alone typically dont exceed 288 IU a day on average. Even drinking an 8-ounce glass of milk will only get you 100 IU one-sixth the amount that many adults need daily.
But when supplements are added, they get closer to the 600 IU goal. Consider this: Women between ages 51 and 70, who averaged 156 IU through the diet-only approach, reached 404 IU with the help of supplements.
The Importance Of Nutrient Absorption
Many health experts also see nutritional deficiencies skyrocketing due to poor nutrition and poor vitamin absorption and mineral absorption, leading to physicians and natural health practitioners recommending highly bioavailable vitamin and mineral supplements. If you have a gastrointestinal disorder or disease, poor nutrient absorption is common, and you may need to learn how to absorb vitamin supplements better without swallowing pills. An inability to swallow pills can lead to health problems including nutritional deficiencies, so it is essential to address the problem head-on to avoid complications.The human body can’t survive, let alone thrive, without proper absorption of the 13 essential vitamins including vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins. These vitamins are essential for wellness, and research shows optimal levels in our system may help to protect against Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and other chronic conditions.When our bodies don’t absorb enough of these essential vitamins through foods or supplements, deficiencies occur. The top four most common vitamin deficiencies in the United States are vitamin D, B12, B6, and C.
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Expose More Skin To Speed Up Vitamin D Production
Cholesterol is converted into vitamin D when your skin is exposed to Ultraviolet B rays from the sun. Thatâs the main reason why youâd be better off exposing as much skin as possible to sunlight to make adequate amounts of vitamin D.
More specifically, experts generally agree that you expose about one-third of your skin surface area to sunlight. For people with pale color skin, going out in the sun during summer in bouts of 10 to 30 minutes thrice per week should be plenty if they wear shorts and a tank top. It’s also okay to use sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to safeguard your eyes and face when you expose other body parts.
If your skin is darker â for instance, you have got an Asian, African-Caribbean, or African background — you might want to stay out a bit longer in the sun.â
Why Vitamin D Is Good For Your Body
Vitamin D has a number of important functionsfor example, it:
- improves your body’s calcium absorption
- enables your immune system to function properly, protecting you from illnesses such as the common cold
- regulates blood pressure
- aids in the growth and development of bones and teeth
- helps keep muscles healthy
Its often referred to as the sunshine vitamin as your body produces it naturally when directly exposed to sunlight. Your vitamin D levels also depend on the foods you eat and any supplements you take .
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How Do Vitamin D2 And D3 Differ
There are two main kinds of vitamin DD2 and D3 . D2 is found in plant foods, including fungi like mushrooms and yeasts. D3 is only available in animal foods, and its the type of vitamin D your body makes on its own when its exposed to UV light.
D2 is inexpensive to produce, so its often added to foodssuch as milkto boost their vitamin D content. However, D2 is not as well absorbed by the body as D3. Some studies indicate that D3 may be almost twice as effective at raising levels of vitamin D in the blood as D2 . If you supplement with vitamin D to achieve optimal levels, nutrition experts generally recommend choosing vitamin D3 supplements.
According to an American Journal of Clinical Nutritionreport, medical literature regarded D2 and D3 as equivalent and interchangeable for many years, yet this presumption of equivalence is based on studies of rickets prevention in infants conducted 70 years ago
Despite an emerging body of evidence suggesting several plausible explanations for the greater bioefficacy of vitamin D3, the form of vitamin D used in major preparations of prescriptions in North America is vitamin D2.
What Are The Best Sources Of Vitamin D
Its hard to get enough vitamin D from sunshine, but its even harder to get it from foodat least the way most people eat. The best source of dietary D is from fish livers, such as cod liver oil, but now ask yourself when was the last time you ate cod liver oil?
Mackerel, salmon, sardines, swordfish, trout, and tuna all offer D, as do mushrooms and eggs. If you eat them regularly, youll meet the government-recommended requirement, but if youre in the camp that thinks 600 IU is too low, youll need to be more aggressive to hit your D goals. Dairy products and cereals are fortified with vitamin D, which helps, but one review, and Harvard University, determined that supplementation with a multivitamin or concentrated vitamin D capsule provides a better insurance policy.
Of course, you shouldnt completely avoid the sun. According to a report in Alternative Medicine Review, the health benefits accruing from moderate UV irradiation, without erythema or excess tanning, greatly outweigh the health risks, with skin pigmentation providing much of the protection.
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Editorial Sources And Fact
Short Unprotected Sun Exposure Can Do You Good
No one can argue against sunscreenâs importance when it comes to protecting from skin cancer and sunburns. A typical sunscreen comprises a chemical blend that helps absorb, reflect, or diffuse sunlight, preventing harmful ultraviolet rays from reaching your skin cells.
Some research findings have suggested that a strong sunblock like SPF-30 sunscreen can cut vitamin D production in your skin by between 95 and 98 percent.
That would otherwise be all good and dandy except that UVB rays are needed to make vitamin D. But, instead of ditching sunscreen altogether , you should consider exposing much of your skin to the sun without sunscreen for around only 10-15 minutes. Thereafter you can slap on a good sunblock.
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Ways To Keep Your Vitamin D Levels Up This Winter
Getting enough vitamin D is essential to your long-term health. It’s relatively easy to get vitamin D through sun exposure most of the year, but that changes come wintertime.
Here’s why vitamin D matters and how to keep your levels up, even when the days are short and the skies are snowy and gray.
Why Do We Need Vitamin D
The easy answer is for bones. Vitamin D facilitates absorption of calcium and phosphate, which are needed for bone growth. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones become brittle and break more easily. Vitamin D is likely beneficial for other parts of the body as well studies suggest an overall decrease in death in addition to reductions in blood pressure, respiratory illnesses, cancer, heart disease, and depression. Adequate vitamin D during pregnancy also appears to reduce the chances of having a low-birthweight baby. However, most of the effects of vitamin D have not been studied in controlled settings. Studies looking at the benefits of vitamin D on various conditions are ongoing. A small study published earlier this month suggested that high-dose vitamin D could reduce redness and inflammation following sunburns, but the dose tested far exceeded the recommended daily dose of vitamin D.
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What Stops Them From Being Absorbed Properly
For pills to be absorbed properly, they must be able to disintegrate. Many commercially available vitamins, especially those in pill form, might not disintegrate in time. That means that many people are taking vitamins and spending money on them for little or no reason.
In order for vitamin absorption to work, they must be able to break down within the first 20 minutes of entering the body. Binders and fillers that are added by manufacturers to produce these vitamins more easily make it harder for those vitamins to break down inside the body.
Have you ever noticed that your vitamins are shiny? Some manufacturers add a wax coating in order to keep out moisture and give the vitamins a longer shelf life. But what this does is prolong the disintegration effect even longer, which might make it impossible for any vitamins to be absorbed.
Sugar and corn syrup may make vitamins taste better, but they only add to weight gain and further inhibit the body from absorbing nutrients.
Vitamin D Status In Git
The fate of the vitamin D in GIT is monitored by those factors which have been intimately involved with major lipid . These involve emulsification, dissolution in micelles, diffusion through the stagnant water layer and penetration across enterocytes membranes. The future of vitamin D in GIT seems to be a multistep process including physiochemical as well as enzymatic involvement . The acidic pH of gastric juice may affect the bioavailability of vitamin D. It is apparent that no data available on the susceptibility of major dietary forms of vitamin D to GIT pH conditions. Further, a hypothesis can be made that protein digestive enzymes are also intimately involved in vitamin D absorption as they cleave vitamin D binding proteins present in food and thus facilitate its release. Further, in duodenum digestive enzyme continues the release of vitamin D from food matrix.
Schematic diagram of the human digestive system and the various physiochemical and physiological processes involved in digestion and absorption of vitamin D
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Why Magnesium Is Good For Your Body
Magnesium is one of several essential minerals your body needs to stay healthy and function as it should. It benefits you in a whole variety of ways, by:
- relieving muscle tension and muscle spasms
- reducing tiredness and fatigue
- helping muscle tissue to recover after exercise and sports
- making you more flexible
- repairing and replenishing skin, leaving it supple and giving it a natural glow
Magnesium also improves your joint health by increasing the density of your bones, making them stronger. Not only that, but it contributes to your metabolism, the functioning of your nervous system and your body’s synthesis of proteins.
If you have a magnesium deficiency , this might cause you to:
- sleep poorly
Is It Best To Get Your Vitamin D From The Sun Definitely Not
David J. Leffell, MD, Yale Medicine dermatologist and chief of Dermatologic Surgery
One of the biggest challenges weve faced in dermatology and in the world of skin cancer prevention has been a lot of misinformation about vitamin D metabolism.
There are claims that one needs to get a certain amount of sun exposure every day in order to produce enough vitamin D to be healthy. Its just not true. The majority of people can get their vitamin D from nutritional supplements and from vitamin D-fortified foods.
There are some people who have advocated for tanning to get vitamin D. But we know that UVB light causes skin cancer and that protecting yourself against it makes sense. As a doctor who treats patients who have melanomas, I want the general public to be advised that under no circumstances can use of a tanning bed or tanning in general be justified on the basis of vitamin D. Take a supplement instead.
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What To Know About Vitamin D Toxicity Or Overdosing On Vitamin D
When it comes to vitamin D, more isnt always better. Since the vitamin is fat soluble, its stored inside the body and can be harmful if your levels get too high. Too much vitamin D can cause vitamin D toxicity, or hypervitaminosis D, Clifford says.
You dont have to worry about overdosing if you rely on your diet and sunlight to reach 600 IU a day. Its once supplements get added that it becomes a concern. Its more common with mega doses of supplements taken over a long period of time usually doses above 10,000 IU per day, Clifford says.
Health Effects Of Low Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency does not always have obvious symptoms but without treatment there can be significant health effects. These can include bone and muscle pain, and softening of the bones such as rickets and osteomalacia .
Some people are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency, including:
- people with naturally very dark skin this is because the pigment in dark skin doesnt absorb as much UV radiation
- people who avoid the sun due to previous skin cancers, immune suppression or sensitive skin and those people who have limited sun exposure, such as nightshift workers
- people who wear covering clothing or concealing clothing
- people who spend a long time indoors such as those who are housebound or institutionalised
- people who are obese
- people who have a disability or a disease that affects vitamin D metabolism, such as end stage liver disease, renal disease and fat malabsorption syndromes such as cystic fibrosis, coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease
- people who take medication that affects vitamin D metabolism
- breast-fed babies of vitamin D deficient mothers
If you think you may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency, talk to your GP for advice. Your GP may recommend taking a vitamin D supplement.
Overexposure to UV is never recommended, even for people who have vitamin D deficiency.
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