Vitamin D in Sunlight - Sun Exposure

Vitamin Sunshine

When the morning sun lights our face and fills our eyes with healing rays, we can not help but to shine. Nothing else can so quickly liven our spirits like sunlight. In fact, many of our fondest memories in life occurred outdoors on a sunny day. This is not accidental. Sunshine releases vital chemicals in our brain which makes us feel alive, alert, confident and contented.

bible sun verse

The light is pleasant, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun.
Ecclesiastes 11:7

Light is essential to every form of creation. The first words spoken on the first day were "let there be light", and the first light to brighten our planet shone from God Himself. On the fourth day of creation, God arrayed the sun, moon and stars in the heavens with man's existence in mind.

The sun and moon are complementary. Each day starts in the evening at sunset. Nights are divided into watches, and daylight is divided into four segments separated by dawn, mid-morning, noon, mid-afternoon and dusk.

The motions of our earth, sun, moon and stars reveal to us the importance of circadian rhythms. Our minds and bodies are governed by an internal clock installed by Our Creator. We do well to order our lives around routines that both fit our lifestyles and conform to basic human characteristics. There is comfort, solace and efficiency in conforming to a schedule.

Living Power of the Sun

The sun sends its light energy to us in radiation packets called photons which react chemically with elements and compounds in a variety of ways. For example, photosynthesis, the life giving process in plants, occurs only if photons are present. By photosynthesis, our sun stores massive amounts of energy inside our trees, plants, herbs, crops and vineyards in the form of life-giving foods. Incredibly, by this same reaction, photosynthesis provides a plentiful supply of fresh oxygen to sustain life on our planet.

6H2O + 6CO2 + Light ===> C6H12O6 + 6O2
Water plus Carbon Dioxide plus Photons yields Glucose and Oxygen

Like petals and leaves of plants, our faces and limbs are solar collectors. When the ultraviolet radiation in sunlight strikes our skin, chemical reactions occur just under the surface. The resultant products are carried in our bloodstream to our vital organs.

The nature of these reactions, whether for good or not, largely depends upon the chemicals present in our bodies from the foods we eat. If our diet is the simple bible-based diet of nature, and we exercise good judgment, we can be assured of a positive and healing result from exposure to sunlight. We need sunlight far more than we realize. Very few of us get the exposure to sunlight our bodies require.

Sunlight intensity varies greatly with the time of day, time of year and our distance from the equator. Seasonally, sunlight is least intense near the winter solstice and most intense during the long days around the summer solstice. During any given day, the sun's radiation is most intense between mid-morning and mid-afternoon, and the intensity drops significantly towards the north and south poles.

We must not allow ourselves to burn. If we see signs of reddening, we should cover our skin or go indoors. Fair-skinned people, or those who have gotten infrequent sunlight in the past, need to be very cautious. 10 minutes in direct sunlight, during the mid-morning hours on a bright summer day, is very adequate. The time may be increased as the skin becomes accustomed to exposure. During late fall, winter and early spring, we should spend more time in the sun to garner the desired dosage.

Vitamin D3 - The Free Miracle Vitamin

An extraordinary product created inside our bodies as a result of sunlight exposure is vitamin D. Through a somewhat complicated process, vitamin D is created by exposure of our skin to sunlight. The vitamin D is then carried to our liver where it becomes activated to be useful to our bodies. In the intestines, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium which is essential to healthy bone growth and bone maintenance as well as many other functions.

Vitamin D has not received the recognition it deserves, but that is changing. The benefits of D vitamins are enormous, and the list of benefits is continually growing with each new scientific study.

A partial list of disorders in which there is evidence that an appropriate level of Vitamin D is overwhelmingly useful:

  • Assists the immune system
  • Assists with insulin secretion
  • Lower risk of high blood pressure
  • Reduced hypertension
  • Lower risk of osteoporosis
  • Fewer falls among the elderly
  • Lower risk of alzheimer's disease
  • Lower risk of cancers
    • breast, prostrate, colon and other cancers
  • Lower risk of skin conditions
  • Lower risk of multiple sclerosis
  • Lower metals and toxins in the brain
  • Lower triglicerides
  • Lower death rates
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Lower hypertension
  • Lower incidence of Depression
  • Lower risk of types 1 and 2 diabetes

Vitamin D production

Vitamin D is a healing tonic and is as free as sunlight. Simply by stepping into the sunshine, We can make as much as we need. This is wonderful because our bodies need a lot of Vitamin D. Scientists are discovering that an appropriate dosage of vitamin D serum is significantly higher than the cautious amount suggested by government agencies in the past. Nature itself testifies to this. Just a few minutes in the summer sun dressed in light clothing produces many times more vitamin D than the government says we need. Maybe nature knows best?

The government's suggested blood levels may have been seriously too low as a precaution against overdose. Over-dosage of vitamin D is dangerous and can even be fatal. Although rare, it is possible to overdose using supplements. However, it is considered impossible to overdose on vitamin D supplied naturally from the sun. At peak levels, vitamin d production self-regulates. As an analogy, think of boiling water. As exposure to heat continues, the water temperature increases until the boiling temperature is reached. At this point, evaporation carries away as much heat as is being added, and the temperature stops rising.

The best way to know if the vitamin D levels present in our blood are at acceptable levels is to test ourselves frequently. The form of vitamin D in the blood is 25(OH)D or 25-hydroxyl-vitamin D. The level of 25(OH)D in our blood is measured in nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) and should be between 50 ng/ml and 80 ng/ml at all times and seasons.

The sun, by far, is the best and most reliable source for the quantities of D vitamins we need. Yes, we can get some vitamin D from foods like milk and fish but nowhere near the appropriate amount required. Vitamin D is not found in many foods unless it has been artificially added. These are not as easily metabolized. Large quantities of these foods would need to be consumed to maintain proper levels25(OH)D in our blood. However, a diet of mostly fish and milk is completely unacceptable as other nutritional needs would be neglected.

If we are unable to get adequate sunlight, for whatever reason, then we need to supplement. Vitamin D3 supplements, cod liver oil and other means of vitamin D intake are inferior to sunlight but much better than the alternative vitamin D deficiency.

With most good things in life, a little is better than none. However, with vitamin D, other dynamics are brought to bear. There appears to be concentration thresholds. For example, until a certain concentration of 25(OH)D serum is achieved in the bloodstream, all of our metabolized vitamin D is used by our kidneys for general health purposes. Only after the kidneys are satisfied may any surplus serum be routed to revitalize other areas of our bodies and perform more asthetic functions. Therefore, our goal should be to maintain blood serum levels above this threshold.

Factors Affecting Useful Vitamin D Production

There are a variety of variables connected with proper sunlight exposure and the associate vitamin D intake. For example, those living nearer the equator have the highest levels of vitamin D. During the winter months, the earth is tilted in a less direct angle relative to the sun which inhibits D3 production.

Angle of sunlight
Season
Time of day
Amount of exposed skin
Body mass / soluble fats
UVB sunblocks or lotions on the skin
Smoker / non-smoker
amount of exercise
Age / liver condition
Ethnicity / skin pigmentation
Diabetes / no diabetes
gender


Sunlight and Depression

Sunlight deficiency leads to depression. This really is not surprising to most people. We know instinctively that bright skies are linked to elevated spirits and gray skies to depressed moods. This phenomenon is more marked in some people than others. Millions, from all walks of life, suffer from depression due to lack of sunlight. Many do not know the source of their depression or even recognize they are depressed.

The clinical term for this condition is Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.). Generally, people farthest away from the equator are affected most by SAD and are at real risk of illness. As our distance from the equator increases, sun intensity decreases. The problem is compounded in winter. We receive the best sunlight when the sun is more directly overhead because this provides the shortest travel of sunlight and ultraviolet photons through the atmosphere. However, in winter, the sun angle is much steeper. Therefore, sunlight has less intensity in winter and progressively less intensity as the distance from the equator increases.

Inadequate sunlight can really affect us seriously. Contagious viruses can sometimes abound in winter. Often, we are trapped indoors with less fresh air for longer periods of time. We become deficient in healing vitamin D. While a joyful heart is healing, depression has a detrimental effect on our immune system. All of these factors can conspire to really deprive us of an abundant life for years.

bible verse 6

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Proverbs 17:22

There are countless circumstances, besides the season and distance from the equator, which can result in Seasonal Affective Disorder. Some work the night shift. Others are older, disabled, not ambulatory or otherwise housebound. Many of these carry on day to day never realizing they could be feeling much better. For those who have any degree of depression due to SAD, the solution could be light therapy using full spectrum lamps which simulate white sunlight. Also, vitamin D supplements can help maintain 25(OH)D blood levels within range.