FLASH: D is not a Vitamin, it is a prohormone.
The Big Q: Have you wondered why other vitamins are derived from the foods we eat, but what we know as vitamin D comes from The Sun?
The Big A: According to the Endocrine Society’s Hormone Health Network, the “vitamin D” designation is a misnomer:
“This often-misunderstood ‘vitamin’ is not a vitamin — it is a prohormone. Prohormones are substances that the body converts to a hormone. In fact, unlike other vitamins, only about 10 percent of the vitamin D the body needs comes from food such as dairy products and oily fish, and the rest the body makes for itself.”
Our body makes vitamin D in a chemical reaction when Sunlight hits our skin. It works by binding to a protein called the vitamin D receptor, which is present in nearly every cell and affects many different body processes. It helps your body absorb calcium, which in turn enables our bones to gain strength by “mineralizing” them.
Research indicates that the best way to raise our vitamin D level is not through supplementation, but through Sun exposure. It is Key for people to understand that the latest science shows that the real risk is avoiding the Sun.
But perhaps understanding the problems associated with low vitamin D is a more effective way of communicating how important getting optimal Sun exposure is.
The Top 5 signs are as follows;
- Constant aches and pains, which are frequently misdiagnosed
- Frequent illnesses and infections due to a low immune system
- Neurological symptoms from headaches to cognitive impairment
- Fatigue, daytime sleepiness and low back pain
- Sweaty head, often seen in infants, but can occur at any age
In Y 2018, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health noted that the risk of heart problems and cancer are not the only potential problems. Lack of Sun exposure is also linked specific cancers, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, autism, Alzheimer’s disease and age-related macular degeneration.
Contrary to the present narrative, ultraviolet (UV) light is the primary source of vitamin D, as well as other compounds crucial for our health. The authors concluded that “non-burning UV exposure is a health benefit and in moderation should be recommended as such.”
While studies on Sun exposure are limited, a Y 2014 study in the Journal of Internal Medicine reported, “The mortality rate amongst avoiders of Sun exposure was approximately 2-fold higher compared with the highest Sun exposure group.”
In lieu of Sunscreen, limit initial Sun exposure to just a few minutes and slowly work your way up. The more tanned your skin gets, the longer you can stay in the Sun without burning. Whenever possible, wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your skin and eyes.
The bottom line is that if avoiding Sun exposure puts your health at similar risk as burning, smoking does, and it does, it is time to make a change.
There is lots of evidence to indicate that “catching some rays,” as well as avoiding chemical concoctions to block Sunlight, is not just good for you, it is Key for maintaining or regaining your health.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively, and Take walks in The Sun
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