Nutrition > Vitamin D – The Sunshine Vitamin
8th Sep 2022
Sunshine Vitamin

Vitamin D – The Sunshine Vitamin

Vitamin D like all other vitamins is very essential for our health and well-being. It is chiefly formed in the skin by exposure to sunlight. So the body’s primary source of this vitamin is sunlight and a handful of foods such as oily fish, red meat, & egg yolks serve as vitamin D sources. 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin is the fundamental raw material for the formation of vitamin D. The sun’s UVB (ultraviolet B) rays interact with this protein 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin, converting it into vitamin D3, the active form of vitamin D. After passing through the liver and kidneys, vitamin D3 is transformed into the state of vitamin D that the body can utilise. The vitamin D from sunshine promotes calcium absorption to maintain healthy bones. When the levels of this vitamin are inadequate, calcium from the food is not easily absorbed. Vitamin D also contributes to maintaining a healthy immune system by controlling T and B immune cells.


Vitamin D Deficiency: Prevalence 

The Department of Medicine (IOM) recently proposed that VDD (vitamin D deficiency) be defined historically as a 25(OH)D of less than 0.8 IU. A 25(OH)D level of 21 to 29 ng/mL has been deemed to indicate a vitamin D deficiency. Everywhere in the world, there is a high risk of VDD and insufficiency in children, young adults, and middle-aged people. Australasia, the Mideast, India, Africa, & South America all have high rates of VDD. Women who take a vitamin supplement and calcium supplementation with this vitamin while pregnant or nursing continue to have an increased risk of VDD. 

Vitamin D deficiency: Causes and Consequences 

For toddlers and adults, exposure to natural sunshine is the primary source of vitamin D. Poor sun exposure contributes to VDD. The production of this sunshine vitamin in the skin is reduced by more than 95% when sunscreen uses a UV protection factor of 30. To produce the same quantity of this sunshine vitamin as someone with white skin, someone with naturally dark skin must be exposed to the sun for three to five times longer. Obesity is linked to VDD since there is an inverse correlation between serum 25(OH)D and a body weight index (BMI) of more than 30 kg/m2. 

While patients with one of the fat malabsorption syndromes and bariatric patients are commonly unable to absorb the fat-soluble vitamin D, individuals with nephritic syndrome lose 25(OH)D related to the vitamin D-binding protein in their urine. Patients who take various medications are in danger because anticonvulsants and drugs used to treat AIDS and HIV hasten the breakdown of 25(OH)D & 1,25(OH)2D. Patients with the accelerated conversion of 25(OH)D to 1,25(OH)2D, certain lymphomas, primary hyperparathyroidism, and chronic granuloma-forming disorders are also at high risk for vitamin D deficiency. 

Vitamin D Benefits

1. Cancer 

This vitamin has strong anti-inflammatory properties, slows the formation of new blood vessels, improves cell differentiation, and inhibits cell proliferation. The most significant evidence for this association has been found in studies linking low vitamin D levels to an increased risk of colon cancer

2. Heart condition 

According to several studies, the sunshine vitamin may protect the heart by inhibiting the renin-angiotensin system, reducing inflammation, or directly affecting the cells of the heart and blood vessel walls. Patients in the Framingham Heart Study with low vitamin D levels (15 ng/mL) had a 60% greater chance of developing heart disease than those with higher levels. 

3. Hypertension

Individuals with adequate vitamin D levels show a considerably decreased age-related rise in systolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure and pulse were inversely and substantially linked with 25(OH)D levels among 12,644 individuals in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES-III). 

4. Obesity

Obesity is frequently accompanied by low levels of circulating vitamin D, which might explain the increased risk of several malignancies and cardiovascular consequences. Age, lean body mass, and vitamin consumption are all favorably correlated with levels of 25(OH)D, whereas the BMI, waist circumference, & body fat are negatively associated with them. 

Sources of vitamin D 

For most people, exposure to sunlight—typically between 1000 h and 1500 h in the springtime, summer, and fall—synthesises vitamin D. Compared to the vitamin that is consumed, this vitamin generated in the skin may stay in the blood for at least twice as long. The quantity of the vitamin developed is equal to eating between 10,000 or 25,000 IU when an adult wearing a swimming suit is exposed to one minimum erythemal dosage of UV radiation (a small pinkness to the skin 24 h after exposure). Age, increasing skin pigmentation, topical sunscreen use, and other variables affect the skin’s ability to produce the D3 vitamin. 

Vitamin D Supplements 

Taking vitamin D capsules can frequently help those who don’t receive enough vitamins from the sun. While certain foods may contain vitamin D, eating a lot of them is commonly required to meet the requirements. 

Here are some of the Preferred Vitamin Dietary Supplements: 

1. Vitamin D3 Softgels by SolgarR: This product contains vitamin D3 in the same form our bodies make when exposed to sunshine. As one of the four fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin D is included in this composition as oil-based softgels to aid in the best possible absorption. SolgarR Liquid Vitamin D3 is the ideal vitamin D3 form for those who dislike using pills. Add the necessary quantity to any beverage for an extra drop of sunshine; it comes in a lovely orange taste. 

2. Children’s Calcium with D3 Gummies from SolgarR: The growth of children’s bones depends on vitamin D. It provides 75% of the Daily Value for children of four years and older in each serving of tapioca-based U-CubesTM Calcium with D3. Small amounts are used to create these non-GMO gummies to ensure the best quality. 

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Regular sun exposure is the most natural approach to obtaining enough vitamin D. Aim for 10 to 30 minutes of noon sunshine daily to maintain appropriate blood levels. Those with darker complexion may require a bit more. You should adjust your exposure period depending on your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight, and watch out for burning. The time of day, your skin tone, how far you live from the equator, how much skin you expose to sunlight, and how much skin you expose to sunlight are all variables that might impact your capacity to generate vitamin D from sunshine. For instance, people who reside farther from the equator often require more sunshine since the sun’s UV rays are weaker. 


What benefits does vitamin D offer the body? 

The body needs vitamin D as a vital component to maintain healthy bones, muscles, and immune system functions. It controls the absorption of calcium – To grow strong bones, calcium and phosphorus must be absorbed, which depends on vitamin D. 

What advantages does vitamin D provide for seniors? 

In addition to aiding you in building stronger bones, vitamin D also encourages muscle contraction, which improves balance and lowers the chance of falling. 

What part does vitamin D play in the metabolism of glucose? 

The metabolism of glucose is influenced by vitamin D. Vitamin D receptors on pancreatic beta cells promote insulin release, and the muscles and liver’s vitamin D receptors diminish peripheral insulin resistance. 

How does vitamin D control the body’s absorption of calcium? 

To grow strong bones, calcium and phosphorus must be absorbed, which depends on vitamin D. The body may absorb calcium from consumed food by converting vitamin D to its active form.