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How Much Sunlight Is Enough To Get Vitamin D?

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Vitamin D has long been neglected in lieu of Vitamins C and E, which many people thought were more important in getting the proper amounts of for our bodies. But it turns out that Vitamin D deficiencies have links to many diseases and even life-threatening problems such as type 1 diabetes, muscle and bone pains and a few types of cancers including breast, colon and prostate. Because of these recent studies, more and more health professionals are starting to recommend that people have at least a 20 to 25 microgram intake of Vitamin D per day. Although Vitamin D be added to your diet as a supplement, it is quite easier, and cheaper, to get the recommended amount of Vitamin D from sunlight.

 

What Is Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a group of fat soluble steroids which aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphate by the intestine. Vitamin D is synthesized by our body so supplements aren’t necessary but our bodies do need the aid of sunlight to be able to synthesize Vitamin D. There are five types of Vitamin D, collectively known as calciferol, and each type is a little different in how it is produced and what it does. The type of Vitamin D that humans create in their bodies is specifically Vitamin D3, and it is produced a compound in the skin known as 7 dehyrocholestrol reacts with ultra violet light. Vitamin D1 is a molecular compound comprised of ergocalciferol and lumisterol, D2 is synthesized by invertebrates and is not produced by humans or vertebrates, and Vitamins D4 and D5 are dihydroegocalciferol and 7 dehydositosterol, respectively. Vitamin D2 and D3 are the forms that are needed for humans.

 

Where To Get Vitamin D

Although some doctors still don’t agree with getting Vitamin D from the sun due to certain risk factors, such as skin cancer because Vitamin D can only be synthesized if there’s no sunscreen applied, it is one of the best ways to get a recommended dose. On average, 10-20 minutes of sun exposure is recommended, although this can vary greatly on the time of the year, the location you’re in, your surroundings, skin color, time of day and even cloud coverage. This might all seem very complicated and not worth the trouble, but Norwegian Institute for Air Research has created a calculator that will let you know just how much sun you need for the day to get your allotted Vitamin D. It does take a few informational inputs but once you do it a few times if becomes relatively easy to know what to input and to get an exact amount of minutes you should spend outside for your Vitamin D.

Vitamin D can also be obtained from certain foods. Foods such as salmon, tuna, soy milk, and orange juice contain more than 2.5 mg of Vitamin D and are the best bet for getting in your daily Vitamin D. Other foods to consider are low fat milk, fortified cereals, eggs, mushrooms, tofu, and swiss cheese which all have lowered amounts but still are a good option for Vitamin D intake. Mushrooms, for instance, create their own Vitamin D, Vitamin D2, which is one of the necessary forms of Vitamin D for humans.

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