The Sunshine Vitamin
All life on earth needs the sun. Every plant, tree, animal and human relies on it. Without the sun we would not survive, let alone grow, thrive, laugh and love. It is through photosynthesis that plants use the light energy from the sun to make sugars that fuel the creation of all the fruits, vegetables, grains and grasses we need to keep us alive.
Every vitamin and mineral our bodies need are supplied through this amazing and miraculous process, except for Vitamin D. Vitamin D needs to be made in our bodies similar to the way photosynthesis supplies plants with power. Of course, it is a very complex human mechanism perfected over million of years of evolution but here it is in a nutshell.
When the ultraviolet B rays from direct sunlight (which is around 300 nanometers) penetrate our bare skin, the skin’s 7-dehydrocholesterol converts the UV rays into previtamin D which then spontaneously coverts into vitamin D. Vitamin D is not one but many chemicals. The sun’s energy is turned into vitamin D2 and D3 that are carried to your liver and kidneys and transformed into active vitamin D.
At its most important vitamin D helps the body absorb the calcium in our food that helps build strong teeth and bones. Vitamin D is so important to good health that a deficiency has been linked to rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults. Low levels of vitamin D can lead to fractures and weak bones. When people lived and worked outside vitamin D deficiencies were rare but now that we spend around 87% of our lives in houses, offices, etc. our need for time in the good, old sun is imperative for the production of this important vitamin.
For this to happen the sun must shine on bare skin. And the more skin the better. Our backs are the biggest expanse of skin on our bodies and are the best sun absorbers. Think of your back like your personal solar panel. Sun bathing is a healthy and necessary component to good health.
It just needs to be done correctly. You are very lucky if you have a little spot of sunshine where no one can see you and you can lie naked for a few minutes a day. But if that is not possible just get into any patch of sunlight, preferably between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, expose as much skin as is legal and feel the life force of those beneficial rays flowing into you.
Ten minutes a day is perfect if you live in the warm/temperate areas of the world. If you live in the more northern/southern hemispheres especially during the winter months you may need a little more daily time in the sun.
The color of your skin also figures in. Lightly pigmented skin absorbs sun quicker, darker skin takes a little more time. Ten to twenty minutes a day is good for most people and will not cause the skin to burn or be damaged.
And while it takes more than just Vitamin D to have normal healthy T levels, do not discount the role Vitamin D actually has in making sure our bodies keep natural testosterone levels. Read more about that here: Why T Levels Are Important For Health.
Just as we need fresh air, clean water, adequate rest and delicious foods we need time in the sun. At least once a day get outside and show some skin. Get under the warm, healing rays and think about the miracle that your body is and send a little thank you to the sun.