The importance of Vitamin D VS. the risks of sun damage

How important is Vitamin D to our health?

In short, it’s very important. Vitamin D spurs bone growth. It is also a vital component to the wellness of your immune system. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it produces Vitamin D.

There is a common perception that in order for your skin to produce vitamin D it needs to be directly exposed to sunlight ie. if you use sunblock, your body won’t reap the benefits.

By contrast, we are also made to believe that ANY exposure (particularly to the harsh Australian sun) will lead to damage of the skins cellular DNA. So is it possible to have a balance of both?

Your body only needs 10-15 minutes on unexposed sun, 3 times a week to produce a sufficient amount of vitamin D.

However, the same 10-15 minutes are also all it takes for your skin cells to produce sunburn and genetic mutations that may lead to skin cancer.

If you wear sunscreen will you body absorb vitamin D?
An SPF 15 blocks out 93% of the UVB rays
an SPF 30 blocks out 97% of the UVB rays
an SPF 50 blocks out 98% of the UVB rays
this leaves anywhere from 2-7% of solar UVB reaching your skin.

Are there other ways to enjoy the benefits of Vitamin D?
Yes, in your diet. Fatty Fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna are incredible sources of Vitamin D.

Daily, you should try and achieve 600 International Units (IU) of Vitamin D a day.
A supplement such as a tablespoon of cod liver is great way to get your boost.

While there are a handful of tablet supplements on the market, it’s important to try and achieve it through your diet and lifestyle first.

If you do love the sun and depend on that method to achieve your vitamin D then make sure you stay out of the sun during the harshest times of the day, between 11am-3pm.

An early morning walk wearing sunscreen and a hat will definitely be beneficial for your health, happiness and Vitamin D levels.

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