The Sunshine Vitamin

This post is dedicated to answer the question: Why is Vitamin D always linked to the Sun??

We will provide you with a general overview on Vitamin D and point out the link between this vitamin and the sun.

Vitamin D Functions in the Body

Vitamin D plays an important role in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body specifically to the bones and teeth, it also helps regulate calcium levels in the blood; thus it helps form and maintain the bones. Moreover, it has shown to strength the immune system and cell growth regulation. As a result, it may provide protection from osteoporosis and several autoimmune diseases etc. Lack of Vitamin D may contribute to bone loss and softening which in turn might lead to osteoporosis on the long run.

Vitamin D Deficiency Diseases:

1. Rickets (skeletal deformation in children)
2. Osteomalacia (muscular and bone weakness in adults)
3. Others: heart disease, skin disease, infections and several types of cancer

High Risk Individuals:

– Elderly
– Obese individuals
– Infants
– Individuals with limited sun exposure

Vitamin D Sources

Vitamin D can be found in food (few sources), fortified foods and supplements:

– Fatty fish ex. Salmon and tuna
– Liver
– Egg Yolk, yet always consider moderation; yolks are very rich in cholesterol
– Fortified orange juice
– Fortified cereals and breads
– Fortified milk, yoghurt, soy and rice milks

Important Note:

– Labneh and cheeses are never fortified with vitamin D thus it’s best to always eat them (ONLY in this case) the high fat version because vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin always contained within the fatty material of the food.
– Always read the food label.
– As for the supplementation always consult your doctor for appropriate supplements use.

The Sunshine Vitamin

Before we state how the sun is a source of vitamin D; we need to pinpoint out that there are several forms of vitamin D important to our health.

– Vitamin D2 is produced by plants.
– Vitamin D3 is produced by humans in the skin

How is Vitamin D3 produced in our bodies?

When sunlight hits the skin, ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from sunlight accelerates the transformation of the vitamin into its active form.

Sunlight exposure recommendation: 15-20 minutes /day

Alert: Don’t take advantage of this post and go sit all day in the sun! Always remember everything in MODERATION; the sun might lead to skin burns and other consequences.

Related References:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-d/NS_patient-vitamind
http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6795

Picture Source: http://blog.ukmedix.com/vitamin-d-and-cancer/

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