Why Increasing Your Vitamin D Levels at This Time is More Vital than Ever!
by Jane Chitty
When the mainstream media comes out and advocates taking vitamin D supplements, you have to know that vitamin D deficiency is at last being taken seriously.
People are being urged to take vitamin D supplements as they spend more time indoors during lockdown.
The media is saying that during the summer months, most people get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight.
Unfortunately, this is inaccurate
Historically, yes they did because they were out on the land and not slathering on sunscreen at the slightest chance of getting any sunlight. Very different to recent years when the public have very successfully been programmed to fear the sun and to avoid it at all costs.
Now, since a large part of the population is under lockdown and spending a lot of time indoors, it does not take a rocket scientist to work out that no one is getting enough vitamin D.
What is the average vitamin D level of USA residents in normal times?
The average vitamin D level of Americans is approximately 24 ng/ml.
At least 48 scientistsagreethat the optimal vitamin D levels are between 40 to 60 ng/ml (or 100 to 150 nmol/L). So the majority of us have a very long way to go.
Vitamin D has proven highly effective at preventing the flu and other respiratory conditions which are actually vitamin D deficiency diseases.
In the paper “On the epidemiology of influenza,” authors suggest that vitamin D reduces the risk of influenza infection likely through induction of another molecule, cathelicidin, which activates genes involved in immune defense. This is explained in the section – Vitamin D, innate immunity and influenza.
The risk of the common cold – in medical terms a respiratory tract infection (RTI) – has also been found to be effectively reduced with good vitamin D levels.
Awareness of the benefits of good vitamin D levels is growing
There are many today who have their vitamin D levels regularly tested, educate themselves on the benefits of high levels of vitamin D – and take positive action by getting plenty of sunlight during the summer months and supplementing during the colder, winter months.
The best way to raise your vitamin D levels is through sunlight with just 15 minutes of sun in the middle of the day (to as much bare skin as possible) in the summer a few times per week for those who are fair skinned. The darker your skin, the longer you need in the sun. Stay until the skin starts to turn a light pink color.
It is the UVB rays striking exposed skin (without sunscreen, of course) that produce vitamin D – and not the UVA rays which only tan the skin without producing vitamin D. Both UVA and UVB rays damage skin.
The further you are from the equator, the longer the winter months and the less vitamin D produced during the course of the year. For example, in much of North America it is NOT POSSIBLE to produce Vitamin D in the winter—even in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest point, meaning that it is necessary to supplement with Vitamin D3.
Even if you are producing Vitamin D, you don’t make an endless amount of it. After sufficient sun exposure, your body stops producing Vitamin D and any excess sun exposure beyond this amount can block Vitamin D production.
It is a very fine line between the correct amount of sun exposure for Vitamin D production and too much leading to sun damage. Ideally, you should go into the sun close to midday, spending sufficient time to produce vitamin D before covering up or moving into the shade. Refrain from showering or bathing with soap for several hours after your time in the sun. To avoid sun damage, try to expose those large areas of your body that don’t normally see the sun while covering up those areas that are more often in the sun. This helps you to maximize your Vitamin D production without further damaging areas of your skin that could already be over-exposed.
And if you are unable to go into the sunshine for any reason this spring and summer, then please look into supplementing with Vitamin D3.
Jane writes for Healing Natural Oils, a producer and retailer of high-quality, all-natural treatments for a variety of conditions as well as a range of beauty products. Apart from writing about those various conditions, she also covers general health, environmental and other subjects of interest. She has lived in Kenya as well as Cape Town, South Africa and spent time in San Diego, USA. She now lives in Somerset, England with regular visits from her far-flung children and grandchildren. She is a keen gardener and enjoys growing fresh fruit and vegetables with her husband on their joint allotment. As a result, there is something available to use in the kitchen virtually all year round. Her regular posts can be found on our blog.