When the discussions are made in regard to the topic of ‘health benefits from sun exposure’, usually it rounds on one term and that is ‘vitamin D’. It is the UVB rays by which our skin produces vitamin D in response to it. Though not expansively known, the UVB rays has a ton of benefits such as –
|Endorphins’ release enhances the mood plus energy
|It protects against the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as suppresses it.
|It treats various skin diseases along with enhancing the functions of skin barriers.
|It helps to protect our skin against UV damage by inducing nitric acid along with promoting the healing of wounds through its antimicrobial effect and has some anti-cancer activity.
|Regulation of melatonin through the ‘third eye’ of the pineal gland photoreceptors.
|It relieves the fibromyalgia pain.
|Standard treatment for tuberculosis 100 years ago, long before the advent of antibiotics.
|It treats neonatal jaundice.
|It can be used to sterilize your armpits and eliminates the cause of most body odor
|SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) can be treated.
|It synchronizes the vital biorhythms through the sunlight entering your eye and striking your retina.
|It regulates the body temperature.
|It protects against melanoma and decreasing mortality from it.
|It may be effective in treating T Cell lymphoma.
WHY I YOU SHOULD USE THE SUN
An article written by Richard J. Wurtman is known to contain lots of information – even though it is over forty years old – regarding the benefits of the sun. After reading the article, you will be convinced that you are missing a whole lot of the benefits of the sun but instead you are relying on pills or capsules.
Though it’s just an example, Wurtman has rightfully pointed out the role of the sun which synchronizes your body’s hormonal rhythms. For example, ‘Melatonin’ gets affected by light and dark profoundly with the pineal gland synthesizing it. Proper exposure to the sun is vital for maintaining your internal rhythm. Also the importance of UV exposure (daily) should never be under-estimated as ‘Melatonin’ is a potent anti-oxidant which has cancer-fighting properties.
SUNEXPOSURE HELPS IN THE PROTECTION AGAINST MELANOMA
The sun has got a bad reputation with most people trying to avoid as much as it can because it can promote skin cancer; but it needs to be taken into consideration the exposure to the sun can actually protect you against melanoma, which is the fatal form of skin cancer.
A study published in the ‘Medical Hypothesis’ had said that indoor workers may have increased cases of melanoma as UVA light (associated with skin cancer and skin damage) can pass through window glass unlike UVB rays (associated with tanned look and causes your skin to produce vitamin D). Because of this reason, the indoor workers miss out on the beneficial UVB rays along with having lower levels of vitamin D.
The study had even said that the vitamin D3 formed after outdoor UVB exposure is actually broken by the indoor UV resulting in the deficiency of vitamin D3 and making the risk of melanoma worse.
Various medical studies has associated the exposure of normal sun with the decreased risk of melanoma such as –
- Farmers, fishermen and regular weekend sun exposure – Linked to the decreased risk of melanoma; also known as ‘Occupational Exposure’.
- People having a high level of vitamin D in their blood are more likely to have a better survival prognosis as compared to those having lower levels of vitamin D in their blood.
DEFICIENCY OF VITAMIN D IS COMMON IN SICK KIDS
In response to the UV radiation, our skin produces Vitamin D which is a primary source of benefit for our body as it forms ten percent of all the genes in your body.
Two studies have recently found out that there is a deficiency of vitamin D in the bodies of the sick children and which is associated with worse outcomes and prolonged stays in the hospitals.
THE RISK OF DEATH IS RAISED DUE TO THE DEFICIENCY OF VITAMIN D IN OLDER ADULTS
Like in the case of sick children, their deficiency of vitamin D may lead to severe illness with prolonged stays in the hospitals; similarly, in the case of older adults, the low levels of vitamin D may lead to death, though it is not sure whether it is due to their frailty or their health problems.
But the solution for the above problems should not be vitamin D supplements but rather they should be exposed to safe sun so as to increase their levels of vitamin D as they were designed to and which will help them to reap the benefits as mentioned in the table above.
The two ingredients – sun exposure and high levels of vitamin D is also beneficial for patients with knee osteoarthritis as it helps in decreasing the cartilage of the knee.
From the above, it can be said that vitamin D has many health benefits and truly decreases the risk of dying from any cause. You should measure your vitamin D levels and try to optimize it through safe sun exposure or maybe, you can also use a tanning bed which no doubt will improve your health.
CAN VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENTS BE ACCEPTED?
Always prefer going on the sun, but if going everyday for 10-15 min during winter and colder months is not viable then to take vitamin D supplements might be the way but do make sure that you are taking the right one.
The D3 version is the most potent as each microgram of orally consumed 25 hydroxyvitamin D3 is five times more effective than any other supplements in raising serum 25(OH)D. But do avoid the D2 versions – commonly prescribed by doctor – as even though they are less potent, they tend to do more harm than good.
DO CAVITIES FORM DUE TO LOW LEVELS OF VITAMIN D?
Yes, there are various studies which show that indeed, there is a strong association between vitamin D and the formation of cavities. It had been found out those children with the condition (S-ECC called as severe early childhood caries) had lower levels of vitamin D as compared to those children who are cavity free.
THE HOW-TO’S FOR SUN EXPOSURE
Even though your best bet for vitamin D is the sun exposure, you should do well to remember that not all sun exposure is beneficial for your health. Though sunlight is made up of 1500 wavelengths, only one out of them – UVB-rays – produces vitamin D when they hit your exposed skin.
But you should do well to remember that not everywhere is the same since the wavelength of the UVB-rays are different and can only penetrate the atmosphere when the sun is above the angle of fifty degree; but if the sun is lower than the fifty degree, then the sun when they penetrate the earth, the UVB-rays gets reflected by the ozone layer letting through the longer UVA-rays.
So, how to know whether you are getting the best of sun exposure or not? For that, it is best to determine the longitude and the latitude of your location, and which you can do with the help of Google Maps.
It is even best if you have iPhone or iPad, where you can download an app called ‘D Minder’ and which will do all the work for you.
DOES VITAMIN D PREVENT DISEASE?
Yes, without any doubt. Vitamin D do plays a vital role in the prevention of disease and which in turn maintains optimal health.
There are 30,000 genes in your body and out of them, nearly 3,000 of them are affected by vitamin D and not to mention, the receptors of vitamin D, which are located throughout your body.
Hence, it is best that you should try to maintain the optimal levels of vitamin D which will maintain and improve the overall health of your body along with preventing various types of cancer and skin cancers.