Sunshine & Vitamin D Production
We are the children of the Sun. Light and sun exposure are essentials in our wellbeing. Vitamin D, produced by our skin during the sun exposure, has been shown to shrink tumors. Deficiency of vitamin D supports a large number of diseases like cancer, heart disease, autism, multiple scelorsis, cold, flu, eczema, depression, obesity and many others.
Vitamin D is found in milk, eggs, fish etc. but from diet alone we only get about 300 units of vitamin D per day compared to approximately 8,000 units that an adult need.
UVB vs. UVA Explained
Only UVB rays are vitamin D producing.
On the other hand, the UVA-rays increase the risk of skin cancer and aging. They may give some tan, but unless UVB-rays are also available, the direct exposure should be avoided. In winter months, the UVB-rays don’t reach out to most of the places on Earth .
Most of the sunscreens protect you from the potentially beneficial, vitamin D producing UVB rays, while letting through skin-damaging UVA light. In addition, suncreeens may contain some exteremely dangerous and carcinogenic ingredients.
Key Things to Remember
- Proper sun exposure is the way to get vitamin D. All other ways are suboptimal.
- To calculate the time for your geo-location, when enough UVB actually can penetrate the atmosphere to allow for vitamin D production is relatively complex, but you can download a free iphone app called D Minder, which will make the calculations for you.
- In the winter months we typically do not get enough vitamin D. In that case oral vitamin D or the tanning beds (good ones are very expensive) are the only alternatives.
- Oral supplement needs to be a natural vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), the same vitamin D our body makes when exposed to sunshine. It is important to avoid vitamin D2 (Drisdol).
- Chose carefully your sunscreen. The list of offending, cancerogenic and hormone disruptive ingredients used in too many products is too long. Instead of commercial sunscreens you can use natural red raspberry seed oil that offers great SPF protection (SPF28-50). Read more about natural oils that offer great SPF protection and some quick DIY sunscreen and sun tanning recipes.
- www.edw.org maintains the list of sunscreens with details about toxicity; make sure to buy the sunscreen that is listed there as safe.