Vitamin D Produced In The Skin Also Helps Protect The Skin
Unlike traditional vitamins that you must get from your diet or supplements, vitamin D can be produced naturally in your skin when exposed to UVB rays in the proper circumstances.
Studies have shown that vitamin D made in the skin can decrease DNA damage in the skin cells, facilitate DNA repair acting directly upon any UV damage produced from sun exposure, and help prevent cell death. Furthermore, sensible exposure to sunlight actually protects the skin and deeper tissues from UV damage by increasing pigmentation and thickening the outermost layer of skin a process beneficial even for those with already darker skin. In fact, one study following 29,518 Swedish women over 20 years found that all-cause mortality was inversely related to sun exposure, in other words the risk of death was higher in those who avoided the sun.
Moreover, keratinocytes, which make up over 90% of the outermost layer of skin, cannot rely on vitamin D3 from supplements. Keratinocytes must synthesize their own supply of vitamin D directly from sun exposure, or by topical application as described in a review by Bolerazska et al. so make sure you feed your keratinocytes vitamin D from the sun or topical application!
Vitamin D Deficiency & Skin Problems
Vitamin D is vital to the health, beauty and longevity of the largest organ in your body: your skin. An adequate level of vitamin D benefits skin by helping to promote healthy epidermal cell growth, decrease the risk of infection, prevent skin aging and reduce the incidence of chronic disease, including skin cancer.
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The Role Of Vitamin D3
Another surprising thing about vitamin D3? Its not actually a vitamin, but a pro-hormone. Its considered a pro-hormone because the body is able to produce it on its own by absorbing sunlight on the skin.
Other vitamins and nutrients are unable to be produced by the body and therefore must be obtained via diet and supplements. The body needs to store a healthy amount of vitamin D in order absorb phosphorous and be able to maintain normal levels of calcium. In fact, vitamin D is essential to many functions in the body:
- Vitamin D is necessary for the maintenance of strong bones and healthy teeth.
- Keeping a healthy store of vitamin D gives added protection to such diseases as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes.
- Helps with diabetes management and maintaining healthy insulin levels.
- Vitamin D offers immune support as well as protection to the nervous system and the brain.
- Vitamin D is essential to the health of the lungs and cardiovascular system.
- Helps inhibit the development of cancer.
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Vitamin D And Cutaneous Innate Immunity
A diagram illustrating the influences of vitamin D on the cutaneous innate and adaptive immunity.
Studies have shown that T-cell cytokines play a pivotal role in both amplifying and attenuating vitamin D-mediated cathelicidin production . Indeed, cytokine production by monocytes themselves may be central to the intracrine metabolism of vitamin D in this cell type , . Thus, it seems likely that the ability to mount an appropriate response to infection will be highly dependent on the availability of vitamin D, with additional tuning of this response by other components of the normal human immune response.
Vitamin D can also influence innate immune responses to pathogens via effects on antigen presentation by macrophages or dendritic cells . These cells are known to express VDR , and treatment with 1,252D has been shown to inhibit DC maturation, suppress antigen presentation and promote a tolerogenic T-cell response , .
What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency can be caused by specific medical conditions, such as:
- Cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease: These diseases do not allow the intestines to absorb enough vitamin D through supplements.
- Weight loss surgeries. Weight loss surgeries that reduce the size of the stomach and/or bypasses part of the small intestines make it very difficult to consume sufficient quantities of certain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These individuals need to be carefully monitored by their doctors and need to continue to take vitamin D and other supplements throughout their lives.
- Obesity: A body mass index greater than 30 is associated with lower vitamin D levels. Fat cells keep vitamin D isolated so that it is not released. Vitamin D deficiency is more likely in obese people. Obesity often makes it necessary to take larger doses of vitamin D supplements in order to reach and maintain normal D levels.
- Kidney and liver diseases: These diseases reduce the amount of an enzyme needed to change vitamin D to a form that is used in the body. Lack of this enzyme leads to an inadequate level of active vitamin D in the body.
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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.
What Other Factors Can Lead To Vitamin D Deficiency
- Age: The skin’s ability to make vitamin D lessens with age.
- Mobility: People who are homebound or are rarely outside are not able to use sun exposure as a source of vitamin D.
- Skin color: Dark-colored skin is less able to make vitamin D than fair-colored skin.
- Human breast milk: A woman’s breast milk only contains a small amount of vitamin D. Often infant formulas also only include a small amount of D also. Therefore infants are at risk of not receiving enough vitamin D. This is especially true for infants who are only fed breast milk.
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Is Vitamin D Or D3 More Effective
Vitamin D2 and D3 are absorbed into the bloodstream where they are metabolized by the liver into 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, otherwise collectively known as 25D or calcifediol. Calcifediol is the vitamin D complex circulating in your blood, and its levels directly reflect your bodys stores of vitamin D. Calcifediol is commonly referred to as the active form of vitamin D. When your doctor orders lab tests to check your vitamin D levels, they are measuring your calcifediol levels.
There have been several studies comparing whether supplementation with vitamin D2 or D3 produces a higher blood level of calcifediol. A study published by the National Institutes of Health was conducted in elderly, post-menopausal women who had been identified as vitamin D deficient. It compared the effects of receiving a single high dose of vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 on calcifediol levels. The study concluded that vitamin D3 produced about twice the amount of circulating calcifediol in this patient population versus that of vitamin D2.
In a separate clinical trial comparing a 10-week regimen of twice weekly 50,000 IU dosing of both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 in demographically matched groups, vitamin D3 was also found to be superior in producing higher levels of 25D, or calcifediol.
What Is Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency means that you do not have enough vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D is unique because your skin actually produces it by using sunlight. Fair-skinned individuals and those who are younger convert sunshine into vitamin D far better than those who are darker-skinned and over age 50.
Recommended Reading: How To Eat Vitamin D
What Does Vitamin D Do For Your Skin
Often called the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D plays an integral role in skin protection and rejuvenation. In its active form as calcitriol, vitamin D contributes to skin cell growth, repair, and metabolism. It enhances the skin’s immune system and helps to destroy free radicals that can cause premature aging.
+ Amazing Benefits Of Vitamin D For Skin
The skin isnt just the biggest organ in the body yet, also, the most detectable physical element. Like this, it is essential to treat it well and give it the assets its requirements for good wellbeing. One of the vital nutrients that can help improve the skin & Benefits of Vitamin D for Skin. Even though this nutrient is known for expanding the bodys capacity to assimilate crucial components, for example, calcium and magnesium, it additionally can contribute wellbeing to the skin.
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Two Main Reasons Behind The Itchy Inflammation A Person Faces In This Condition:
- The epidermal barrier of the skin is not functioning correctly.
- Dysregulated immune response of the skin, which interacts with the environmental factors.
The topical use of vitamin D and its analogs increases the vitamin D receptors in the skin cells, which improves the epidermal barrier breakage. This, in turn, lessens the transepidermal water loss .
So Should I Get More Sun On My Skin
It might be tempting to simply lie out in the sun and soak it up to improve the look and feel of your skin. But this may backfire and may not even get you the results you want.
A study released this month in The Endocrine Society has indicated that as your skin is exposed to more sunlight and begins to tan, it actually begins to block the amount of vitamin D that it can synthesize. So even if you get plenty of sun, it may not be giving you the vitamin D boost that you need. The research appears to show that we produce the most vitamin D when our skin is paler making it clear that short bursts of sunlight or supplements are best for preventing skin cancer and for improving our vitamin D uptake.
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What Happens If Your Levels Of Vitamin D Are Low
Vitamin D is sometimes known as the forgotten neurosteroid and in fact, some people even classify this nutrient as a hormone that should give you a clue as to its importance! Although its usually known for its relationship with calcium as we shall discover, vitamin D is also crucial for many other bodily functions such as your immune system, mood, sleep and possibly even your digestion!
Unlike vitamin C, which must be obtained through your diet, your body is capable of synthesising vitamin D theres just one catch! Your body synthesises vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight, a scarce commodity at the best of times here in the UK, let alone in the depths of autumn! This means that many of us are going to be more susceptible to having low levels of vitamin D in the next few months but could this impact your skin? Lets take a look at a few of the main symptoms of vitamin D deficiency to find out.
Vdr As A Tumor Suppressor In Skin
Over 1 million skin cancers occur annually in the United States, 80% of which are basal cell carcinomas , 4% melanomas)), making it by far the most common cancer. Ultraviolet radiation is the major etiologic agent. UV wavelengths shorter than 280 nm are absorbed by the ozone layer and do not reach the earth. UV wavelengths longer than 320 nm have limited ability to induce the characteristic mutations in DNA seen in epidermal cancers. Thus UVB with a spectrum between 280 and 320 nm is the major cause of these cancers . The principle genotoxic lesions induced by UVR are cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and pyrimidinepyrimidone photoproducts , which if not repaired result in C to T or CC to TT mutations, the UVB signature lesion. Such mutations in p53 are common in both BCC and SCC as well as in actinic keratoses, the precursor lesions to SCC. Mutations in ras are much more common in SCC than BCC , whereas mutations in the hedgehog signaling pathway, in particular in patched 1, characterize BCC, but can also be found in SCC in patients also susceptible to BCC. SCC arise from epidermal precursor lesions, whereas BCC appear to arise from hair follicle and epidermal stem cells .
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Dietary Sources And Supplements
Vitamin D is available in 2 distinct forms, ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol . Sunshine exposure provides vitamin D in the form of D3 only, while dietary sources are able to provide both forms, which are officially regarded by many as equivalent and interchangeable , , . However, several reasons have been suggested to argue against this presumption including that both are different in their efficacy at raising serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, with diminished binding of vitamin D2 metabolites to vitamin D binding protein in plasma, as well as the detection of a nonphysiologic metabolism and shorter shelf life for vitamin D2. Nevertheless, still to this day, the major preparations of vitamin D for prescription are in the form of vitamin D2, not vitamin D3. Multivitamins may contain either vitamin D2 or vitamin D3, but most companies are now reformulating their products to contain vitamin D in the D3 form .
There are only few natural sources of vitamin D including cod liver oil, cheese, egg yolks, mackerel, salmon, tuna fish, and beef liver. Because it is not easy for many individuals to obtain adequate vitamin D intake from natural dietary sources alone, many countries fortify foods such as orange juice, milk, yogurt, and cereal with vitamin D. Many inexpensive supplemental vitamin D forms are readily available over the counter in both vitamin D3 and vitamin D2 forms and with or without calcium , .
Can You Ever Have Too Much Vitamin D
Yes. You can get too much vitamin D if you overdo the supplements. Interestingly, you cannot get too much vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D toxicity is, thankfully, quite rare but can lead to hypercalcemia and together the symptoms can include:
- Ataxia .
Do not take higher-than-recommended doses of vitamin D without first discussing it with your doctor. However, your doctor might recommend higher doses of vitamin D if he or she is checking your blood levels and adjusting your dose accordingly. Also, be cautious about getting large doses of vitamin A along with the D in some fish oils. Vitamin A can also reach toxic levels and can cause serious problems.
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Diy Face Masks To Try
If you wish for that vitamin D enriched, soft and glowy skin, then you can check out this easy DIY face mask that will work wonders on your skin.
- All you need is one egg, two tablespoons of yogurt and two tablespoons of ground oats.
- Just mix all these ingredients together and apply it to your skin
- Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes, before washing it with lukewarm water and thats all! Pretty easy, right?
Skin Repair And Protection
What most people know as the immune system is actually one of two components of your bodys total immune capacity. Known to scientists as the adaptive immune system, its ability to mount a strong defense against invading microorganisms and then retain protective antibodies for the future is vital to our survival.
Individuals also possess another immune system that serves as the bodys first line of defense against bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. Located partially in your skin, it is called the innate immune system. Its purpose is to recognize and repel all foreign invaders in a non-specific fashion, regardless of whether the particular pathogen has been encountered before or not. Innate immunity is so important that nature saw fit to preserve it through almost 60 million years of evolution. It is essential that we have an innate response not only to provide an immediate defense against pathogens, but also to reduce the painful inflammation caused by an overreaction of the bodys immune system.
The skin is a crucial component of the bodys innate immune system. The skins keratinocytes can metabolize vitamin D to its active metabolites, while the enzymatic machinery of skin cells can help produce vitamin D receptors. Within the skin, vitamin D and its receptors help form an impermeable barrier and promote an innate immune response against foreign microbes.12
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Vitamin D And Cutaneous Adaptive Immunity
Early studies of vitamin D and the immune system demonstrated VDR expression in both T and B cells . Notably, VDR expression by these cells was only immunologically functional in active, proliferating cells, suggesting an antiproliferative role for 1,252D on these cells . T helper cells appear to be the principal target for 1,252D which can suppress Th cell proliferation as well as modulating cytokines production by these cells . Activation of naive Th cells by antigen in turn leads to the generation of Th cell subgroups with distinct cytokine profiles: Th1 and Th2 that respectively support cell-mediated and humoral immunity , .
In vitro 1,252D inhibits Th1 cytokines , while promoting Th2 cytokines . A third group of Th cells known to be influenced by vitamin D are interleukin-17 -secreting T cells . Autoimmune disease-susceptible non obese diabetic mice treated with 1,25D exhibit lower levels of IL-17 , and 1,252D-mediated suppression of murine retinal autoimmunity appears to involve inhibition of Th17 activity . Furthermore, subsequent studies have shown that 1,252D suppresses IL-17 production via direct transcriptional suppression of IL-17 gene expression .