October 9, 2017

Vitamin D is unique. Beyond the fact that it is fat soluble and not water soluble. Beyond the fact that it has two distinct versions in D2 and D3. It stands alone as the only vitamin that can be produced from sun exposure. The sun acts as a catalyst with UVB radiation to create a chemical reaction with Cholecalciferol found in the skin to create vitamin D. It is not necessary as a dietary factor, which makes it technically, not a vitamin at all. It's actually more of a hormone. In other blog articles I will go into this in a deeper level. It is enough for now to understand how truly unique this 'vitamin' really is.

Back to the sun. This of course is a double edge sword. The right amount of sun gets you the D you need for the day. Too much, and you risk skin cancer. So what are the factors that need to be addressed;

Skin color: A light skinned person that gets full exposure needs only 20 minutes in the sun. Not much really. But this changes as a person's skin gets darker. The darker the skin, the less vitamin D the body makes because the melamin in the skin hinders the production of vitamin D.

Sun Screen: Different levels of sun screen effect the UV penetration into the skin differently. But if you were to wear 30+ SPF, your production of vitamin D goes down by 95%+. Great for skin health. Not so good for vitamin D production.

Food: Surprisingly, there are not that many foods that provide vitamin D. Milk and dairy products are heroes of vitamin D, but even with this, vitamin D is often added to these products to fortify the levels of vitamin D. There are a handful of other sources, mushrooms for instance, if exposed to sunlight. UV changes viosterol found in mushrooms to vitamin D. But often, vitamin D is lacking in a typical modern diet.

There are other factors, like what clothing you wear, what the weather is like, where the sun is position in the sky for winter of summer, etc. But it all comes back to sun exposure or the lack there of. And just to let you know the extent of the problem by way of example, 1/3 of Australians are considered to be vitamin D deficient. That's right, the sun drenched country of Australia.

For now we will leave it to this. Hopefully it simply wets your appreciate to learn about this amazing 'vitamin'. Follow our future blogs to learn more.
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