Vitamin D – The Wonder Vitamin That Benefits Our Skin
Vitamin D is no doubt something you have heard people mention when talking about sunlight and our skin. It has actually been shown in various studies that we don’t get enough of this glorious Vitamin. With many of us being asked to stay indoors, it’s more likely than ever that we’re not getting enough Vitamin D in our life. Let us take you on a journey through the benefits of this wonder-vitamin.
How Do We Get Vitamin D?
Before we dive into the benefits lets just run through how we acquire this vitamin. It’s a fairly unique vitamin in that we can actually increase our Vitamin D levels through sunlight. It’s not that the sun is giving us this vitamin rather, that we produce this vitamin in response to sunlight.
You can also acquire this Vitamin through various foods such as:
- Herring and Sardines
- Cod Liver Oil
- Canned Tuna
- Egg Yolks
There are many others but these 6 natural foods are particularly high in Vitamin D.
What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D does many jobs such as fighting diseases. It has been shown to reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis, decrease your chances of getting heart disease and reduce your likelihood of getting the flu – a particularly useful one at the moment!
The vitamin is also known to be a great resource for fighting off depression. Studies have shown that people with depression who received the vitamin as a supplement noticed an improvement in their symptoms over time.
Bones, Muscles, Teeth. The most well understood benefit to vitamin D is in its ability to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. We need these nutrients to keep our bones, muscles and teeth healthy. It is well known that a lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children.
How Vitamin D Benefits Our Skin
Healthy levels of this wonder vitamin have been shown to reduce aging. It is important to remember, however, that too much time in the sun will age your skin dramatically amongst other risks such as skin cancer. so take it easy out there!
Another benefit comes from the active form of Vitamin D. This is known as Calcitriol and also helps with skin cell growth, repair and metabolism as well as preventing skin aging.
If you suffer from dry skin, psoriasis or eczema then vitamin D is certainly a friend of yours. Those with psoriasis are more likely to have a low vitamin D levels – it isn’t proven to be the cause but including more vitamin D in your diet and using topically has been shown to improve the condition.
There is even an argument to suggest Acne could be helped with Vitamin D. Studies have shown that people with acne typically had lower vitamin D levels and after supplementing with the vitamin, their condition improved.
How Much Time In The Sun Do We Need?
As mentioned previously, spending too much time in the sun comes with its own risks. We do not recommend spending a long time in the sun, both for your general health and your skin health.
This doesn’t mean that using Vitamin D supplements is completely safe, either. There’s such a thing as too much Vitamin D and this is usually caused by an incorrect dosage of the vitamin as a supplement. This can cause nausea, elevated blood levels, calcium levels and diarrhoea amongst many other problems.
It may come as a surprise but you really only need around 15 – 20 minutes of midday sun twice a week. If you have darker skin you might need slightly more as your body is less efficient at producing Vitamin D. In all most of us will not need more than 30 minutes twice a week.
This means that you can get an adequate amount of Vitamin D from the sun without risking the damage and health issues that are caused by spending too much time in direct sunlight.
15 Minutes Twice A Week
Since we’re stuck indoors under lockdown this is a glimmer of positivity for us all. If you notice your mood is down, your skin is struggling and you feel lethargic. It could be that you just haven’t seen enough sun recently. You only need 15 minutes so stand by the window and let those rays do their work.
We would like to remind you that we do not recommend spending lengthened periods of time in the sun and should you become concerned over a mole, blemish or spot, we can check up on that immediately. Skin cancers that are resolved quickly, typically do not lead to anymore than minor surgery. Use our artificial intelligence to get checked instantly or ask one of our board-certified dermatologists to take a look for you.
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Specialist doctor from the University Hospital in Gothenburg, alumnus UC Berkeley. My doctoral dissertation is about Digital Health and I have published 5 scientific articles in teledermatology and artificial intelligence.