“My skin will wrinkle. I just get too many freckles! Look at my old age spots from the sun. Too much of that ball of fire will give me skin cancer!” Whatever the reason, many individuals are staying out of the sun. They wear hats, sunglasses and cover up as much exposed skin as possible.
They lather on the suntan lotions. Values low as 8 SPF (Sun Protection Factor) applied to skin, will block 95% of all Vitamin D production.
Then you have the group out there basking in the sun, using oils to magnify the rays. It becomes an addiction especially when someone tells you, “you look amazing.” The sun contains certain wavelengths of light that fuels a “feel good” mental attitude. This only accentuates the obsession to continually looking “amazing.”
We have a cholesterol-like compound running through our skin cells. It can be turned on into active Vitamin D by the sun. Without it, we must get vitamin D from our foods or supplements. Unfortunately, foods that provide vitamin D are very limited. Most is contained in dairy products. Man fortifies milk by adding vitamin D chemically to this liquid. Anything that is made from milk like cheese, eggs, yogurt, etc. also retains the vitamin from the initial supplementation into the milk.
Aside from dairy products, mushrooms may be fortified with D by setting them out in the sun. They, like humans, have compounds in their flesh that the sun converts into active Vitamin D. Also fish, their oils and manufactured products with added vitamins like cereals also contain Vitamin D.
Certain individuals cross over into a vampire-like existence avoiding the light of day. Some are recluses, hiding out from sun in the hopes of retaining their youth.
Others with sensitive skin, are easily burned by a modest amount of sunlight. Another group that has experienced skin cancer is scared shit of the sun. All these individuals are at risk for significant deficiency of Vitamin D.
There is an app for the iPhone called “dminder.” It has an equation that takes into account your location, UV index, time of day, skin type and age. It’s only an approximation. This software gives you an idea of how much of this vitamin you are getting from Mother Sol. There is free and a $1.99 version. For that price, it allows the additions of oral supplementation in addition to keeping a log of total Vitamin D sun input over a duration of time.
Like a double-edged sword, the sun both promotes and degrades life depending on your specific requirements. The more we advance with the chemistry of sun products the better our life will be with protective quality of just enough Vitamin D to ensure optimum health.
Getting a physical soon? Have them check your Vitamin D levels to ensure you’re in the proper range. This is an important test, especially if you avoid being in the sun. You may need to take a Vitamin D. Supplementation should always be based on recommendations from a nutritionally oriented health care professional.