Vitamin D and the sun

Well here we are in the midst of our southern hemisphere summer with hot sunny days and a culture that loves outdoor activities.

And the other half hemisphere of the world are experiencing freezing cold and wet weather and having to cover up to keep warm.

BUT we all know the danger of too much sun so we have the philosophy of ‘slip slop slap’ slathering on lotions and creams to prevent sunburn. We have had this message drummed into us so thoroughly that we have gone overboard and become so fearful of the sun by shutting it out altogether.

Prevention of sunburn is important yet by over-protecting ourselves we have now created another health problem.

Why you may ask? Well your body cannot create Vitamin D on its own, it is designed to create it through sun exposure. Now we are in a dilemma. Prevent sunburn and requiring sun for vitamin D. This is especially harder in the colder climates due obviously to a lack of strong sunlight and of course too cold to expose any skin. A friend found using a sunlamp was very beneficial for her children otherwise one has to revert to supplementation of Vit D. Any hints and tips from the readers in those climes will be welcome – send them in please.

Using the sun to create enough Vitamin D requires at least a couple of hours per week in small doses AFTER 10am and BEFORE 4pm. STOP you say – we are told before 10 and after 4 – sorry but the UVB rays are not strong enough at those times. Be sensible and get the sun in small doses. Use a hat, especially for children, and allow the arms and legs to be exposed. Vitamin D is also available through our diet but we are not getting enough and as I said the sun is needed to convert it to be usable by our body.

So why is Vitamin D so essential to us and especially our growing children?

According to Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN

“This essential nutrient is called a vitamin, but dietary Vitamin D is actually a precursor hormone–the building block of a powerful steroid hormone in your body called calcitriol. It has been known for years that vitamin D is critical to the health of our bones and teeth but a deeper insight into D’s wider role in our health is quite new. Vitamin D works in concert with other nutrients and hormones: it supports key mineral absorption and metabolism (especially calcium and phosphorus in the blood and bones). It regulates normal cell differentiation and proliferation (e.g., prevention of cancer). It promotes insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation (insulin secretion). Also, studies have shown clear links between Vitamin D deficiency and obesity, insulin resistance, heart disease, certain cancers and depression. Your body cannot create vitamin D on its own. Instead, it is designed to create it through sun exposure”

Besides avoiding the health benefits of the sun we have also had many sunscreens marketed to us that have dangerous ingredients in them. Now we have two issues to deal with – vitamin D deficiency and an overload of toxins.

Contact Joane or Elaine for help on how to access a 50+ lotion we know to be safe. AND if you do burn after using second rate sunscreen – there is a fabulous healing/soothing lotion available. We are also privy to a great children’s chewable multivitamin and a mineral and Vitamin D formula.