Article by Dr. Sonica Krishan
Does absorption of Vitamin D bother you ever so often? Although, deriving the essential vitamin exclusively from a balanced, nutrient rich diet with very few food products which naturally contain vitamin D, such as oily fish, red meat and eggs would help, yet there are several dietary supplements also available nowadays claiming ample amount of vitamin D. As tall as the claims may be, these are not quite as effective as the vitamin D we obtain straight from the sun. No wonder why this vitamin is also fondly called as ‘The Sunshine Vitamin’!
Why These Ultraviolet Rays Are Necessary?
Of all the wavelengths the sunlight is composed of, it is only the UV-B rays that have the aptitude to penetrate through our skin. When we are exposed to these rays and as the UV-B photons enter our skin, the production of vitamin D develops into progression. This results in the formation of vitamin D3, an oil soluble steroid hormone. Now, this vitamin D3 takes up to 48 to 72 hours to get absorbed into our bloodstream, and gradually increase the presence of vitamin D.
Sun-Induced Vitamin D
This is the purest and most natural form of vitamin D, which further helps in the absorption of calcium in our body, and prevents us from the ill effects of various bone related issues, especially the ailment of osteoporosis. Therefore, taking oral calcium alone is not sufficient if we are looking to have healthier bones and joints. We need to supplement it with adequate amount of sun-induced vitamin D.
Necessary For Calcium Utilisation And Bone Fitness
Exposing our skin to UV rays of the sunlight propels the absorption of calcium from the gastrointestinal tract and its consumption in the body. Therefore sourcing Vitamin D from the sunlight not only enhances calcium utilization which is necessary for bone healthiness, metabolism and strength; it also aids in prevention of a number of auto-immune diseases. Also apart from calcium; this particular nutrient is also needed to absorb Phosphate from our diet, which eventually leads to healthier bones, muscles and teeth. Besides, the ‘Sun Vitamin’ regulates resistance against disease, stimulates anti – microbial activity and thus saves us from many infections and health issues.
Saves from Numerous Fitness & Wellbeing Hazards
By means of vitamin D synthesis, these UV-B rays offer a multitude of welfares. Absence of exposure, on the other hand, can lead to osteoporosis (common in women after menopause), weakened muscles, bone deformities and an increased risk of suffering from fractures. Apart from causing serious growth retardations among children, it may also lead to several, serious auto immune diseases among the adults.
Why Sun Exposure Is Significant?
As for the natural synthesis and absorption of vitamin D, we need to expose the bare skin to sunrays. This is because the natural supply of vitamin D largely depends on contact of the skin with the ultraviolet rays of the sun. This essentially aims at the transformation of 7- dehydro-cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).
How Much Sun Do You Need Everyday?
Ten minutes of exposure a day when the sun is shining at its peak, is enough for us to safeguard ourselves from the bone issues. This needs to be undertaken only when our skin in direct contact with the sun rays, without the blocking effect of a moisturizer or sun-screen. The more the exposure, more is the amount of vitamin D being produced. However, about 10 – 15 minutes of sun exposure during the afternoon is enough. We need not go overboard as the strong sun rays might cause a burn or gradually lead to some other maladies such as skin cancer. Also, it should be ensured that the exposure to the sunlight happens when the sunrays are at their peak and the emitted UV-B rays are actually able to penetrate the atmosphere and reach our skin. A moderate but frequent exposure to sunlight can be understood to be a safe bet to stock up on a sufficient amount of vitamin D for our body.