5 factors that interfere with the body’s vitamin D formation
Vitamin D through sunshine
Vitamin D is not a real vitamin. After all, it does not have to be absorbed with food, like other vitamins, but can be produced by the body itself.
Vitamin D is therefore much more of a kind of hormone than a vitamin. For the production we only need sunlight (UVB-radiation), which seems on our skin.
Using this radiation, the so-called provitamin D3 is then produced from a substance (7-dehydrocholesterol), from which cholesterol can also be produced.
This now migrates with the blood stream into the liver and is converted there to the actual vitamin D3, which now only has to be activated, what can happen in the kidney.
The vitamin D requirement is not really known and is still hotly discussed. Officially, 20 micrograms per day are recommended for adults, which other experts consider to be far too little.
One clue could be that on a summer day in the skin 250 micrograms of vitamin D are formed – and after only about 30 minutes, at least when you are in a bikini / swimwear, the body is thus completely irradiated.
Subsequently, this amount of vitamin D no longer increases as the body thus protects against an overdose.
Vitamin D – makes you happy
Vitamin D is an excellent immune system booster, a great protector against cancer as well as an effective component of any therapy against diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
Of course, vitamin D can also raise mood and relieve depression, help memory jump and improve the ability to find solutions.
A vitamin D deficiency is therefore often blamed for the so-called winter blues, as this usually manifests itself in drowsiness and mental drowsiness.
In winter it is known that the sun rarely appears – and if so, only minimal amounts of the UV rays required for vitamin D formation reach the earth.
The frequent recommendation to simply go 20 minutes into the sun twice a week is therefore not always helpful, especially in winter.
But why does a large proportion of all adults in the northern hemisphere suffer from a vitamin D deficiency – and not necessarily only in the winter?
Disorders of vitamin D formation
We provide you with five factors that can prevent your body from producing enough vitamin D. If you switch off or override these five factors, there is nothing to prevent a completely optimal vitamin D formation.
1. Sunscreens prevent vitamin D formation
Again and again, so-called skin cancer prevention campaigns ensure that in the summer hardly anybody without a light protection factor at dizzying altitude to the outside dare.
Even people who live in southern Europe can develop a vitamin D deficiency by permanently applying creams that contain a light protection factor.
This does not necessarily have to be a specific sunscreen cream. Often daily creams are also equipped with a high light protection factor.
However, sun protection factors prevent the UVB radiation necessary for the vitamin D formation from reaching the skin.
If this radiation is missing, then no vitamin D can be produced and the organism is dependent on the vitamin D in the food. This is the next problem.
In conventional foods, vitamin D is so low that it is almost impossible to meet the required requirements evenly. The usual diet supplies only about 2 to 4 micrograms of vitamin D per day.
With a high light protection factor, we give our body the feeling that it lives permanently in the dark winter.
2. Location can sabotage vitamin D formation
If you live north of the latitude of Barcelona (42 ° latitude), you can only produce enough Vitamin D during the summer months.
In the rest of the year, the required UVB rays do not reach the earth in the appropriate quantity because of the too shallow angle of incidence of the sun. In the months of November to February they are not at all on the surface of the earth.
And if you are north of the 52nd degree of latitude, the latter period will be extended even further, from October to March.
These are places that lie to the north of, for example, Berlin, Braunschweig, Osnabrück, Hanover, etc.
How can you easily find out whether the angle of incidence of the sun is sufficient for your vitamin D formation or not?
Very simple: when the sun is shining, go out now. Imagine the sun and look at your shadow.
If your shadow is as long as you are tall or is longer, then no vitamin D formation is possible. If your shadow is shorter, vitamin D formation can be stimulated.
However, since vitamin D, which is inactive, can be stored in the adipose tissue and can be activated as required, it is important to replenish all vitamin D stores in the summer and then easily reach the sun-poor winter months.
In the meantime, it would be ideal to spend a holiday in the south or in the mountains to replenish vitamin D and to minimize the risk that the supplies would be used up before the beginning of the summer.
3. Your skin color can reduce vitamin D formation
The brighter your skin color, the faster you can form vitamin D. The darker your type of skin, the longer it takes for you to form the same amount of vitamin D as a light-skinned human being.
Your type of skin now depends on the regions in which your ancestors lived, and how much sunshine these were exposed to during the generations.
In the north, people have lighter skin to be able to form vitamin D with the rare sun.
In the South, on the other hand, the sun appears to be so often and so much so that the skin needs to protect itself from too much radiation, while the vitamin D formation was never a problem.
It is problematic when a dark-skinned man lives in the north. Then the dark skin color diminishes vitamin D formation and an even longer stay in the sun is necessary in order to be able to produce enough vitamin D.
4. UV Index – The lower, the less vitamin D
Just because summer is, the sun is shining and you bask in the deck, it does not mean you can also produce vitamin D. It is quite possible that the UV index is too low.
The UV index indicates the radiation intensity of the sun and is intended to help assess whether and which sun protection measures are required.
The UV index moves between 0 and higher than 11. A value of 0 to 2 indicates a weak radiation intensity. A value of 3 to 5 is already stronger. Sun protection is recommended here. For values of 8 or more, it is advisable to stay outside.
The season, the time of day and the geographic location, but also cloudiness, air pollution and the thickness of the ozone layer influence the UV index.
In the case of diffuse cloudiness, for example, the sun comes through and one thinks it is a sunny day, but the UV index can be low due to the cloudiness, which naturally also impairs the vitamin D formation.
The UV index even depends on your environment. It is therefore crucial whether there is snow or whether you are lying on the beach. The brighter your environment (snow, sand), the more UV radiation can be reflected back on you – sometimes up to 40 times.
Only when the UV index is higher than 3 are sufficient UVB rays present for vitamin D formation.
It is best to visit a weather page on the Internet that indicates your local UV index. This way you know whether your next sunbathing with regard to vitamin D also makes sense. Apps are also available that specify the UV index.
5. Showering after sunbathing reduces vitamin D intake
After the sunbathing is often the refreshing shower announced. But this should not be good with regard to vitamin D formation.
It is even said that the skin takes up to 48 hours to absorb the Provitamin D, which is formed during the sunbathing in the outer skin areas, to really absorb and direct into the bloodstream.
Therefore, at least in the first few hours (four to six) after sunbathing you should not shower – at least not with soap. Otherwise, the newly formed provitamin might flow away again through the spout.
A reference to the diminishing effect of showering with regard to the vitamin D level could also be a study from 2007.
The study, published in the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, had investigated surfers from Hawaii and found that they had a low vitamin D level despite very frequent sun exposure (an average of almost 30 hours per week).
One could now think that the sports freaks were regularly using sunblocks, but 40% of the participants confirmed that this was not the case and that they never or very rarely used suncreams.
At the same time, it was shown that rescue floats, which only come into contact with water in an emergency, that is, rarely during the day, had significantly higher vitamin D levels than the surfers.
Therefore it might be quite obvious that the study of Helmer and Jansen, already published in 1937, is still valid.
According to this study, vitamin D or its precursor is preferably formed in the sebum of the skin, which means that it can be washed off easily and not in the skin and thus also in the shower.
In order to optimize vitamin D levels, it might be useful not to wash with soap after sunbathing for at least two days.
Of course, soap or shower gel can be used in the intimate area or under the armpits, but not on the other skin parts.
Unfortunately, there are hardly any other scientific studies on this topic, but dietary supplements containing vitamin D3 have previously been obtained from the skin-like material from the skin of sheep or cows, which also suggests that it is better not to abort daily.
Moreover, since our skin is not made for the daily use of soap, shower gel or other cleaning agents and reacts frequently to irritation and skin diseases, it is generally advisable to treat the skin more rarely with cleansing actions and instead again To promote their own regulatory abilities – simply by leaving the skin alone.
6 tips for a healthy vitamin D level
- Use the summer months intelligently to increase your Vitamin D and to replenish your vitamin D stores for the winter.
- Check the UV index before sunbathing to assess how long you should stay in the sun.
If the index is low or cloudy, choose a reflective, thus bright environment for your sunbath.
- Do not sunbathe during the first half hour of your sunbath in the sunshine in the afternoon.
- Sunbathe according to your type of skin: Light-skinned shorter, dark-skinned longer.
- If you want to shower immediately after sunbathing, use shower gel / soap only under the armpits and in the intimate area, but not on the arms, legs, stomach and back. It would be better to wash only the intimate area and the armpits and not allow the rest of the body to come into contact with water – at least not in the first hours after sunbathing.
It is therefore not easy to keep the vitamin D level in the sun by means of the sun – especially not for people living in northern regions.
So, first, test your vitamin D level (at your family doctor) and then decide how intensively you should take care of the optimization.
(Values of less than 50 ng / ml should be increased, values of 70 to 100 ng / ml are considered as acceptable) – If the values are indicated on your blood analysis in nmol / l, multiply the ng / ml values by 2 , 5 and thus reach the nmol / l values.)
Vitamin D without sun?
If you are unable to refuel enough vitamin D during the summer, there are three other ways to fill your vitamin D store.
- If necessary, take vitamin D as a food supplement – possibly (and also according to your personal needs) combined with vitamin K2 plus calcium from the Sango Sea Coral and Astaxantine.
- Eat vitamin D-containing foods! As mentioned above, it is hardly possible to maintain the vitamin D level with conventional foods – unless you want to eat a lot of fish liver. However, vitamin D-containing foods contribute at least a small part to one Healthy Vitamin D levels.Vitamin D is found in fungi (rather in free-range fungi, as wild mushrooms as in breeding champs), in avocados, in eggs (especially in the yolk) and in some species of fish, especially in herring, bled and eel.
- If necessary, visit a high-quality solar studio with solariums that also work with UVB radiation. Every one to two weeks, one should take a whole body irradiation to prevent at least a drop in the vitamin D level. The duration or dose is directed Naturally according to the type of skin and the need. Studies had shown that a visit to the solarium every month had no benefit in terms of the vitamin D level, as it sank despite the sun.
With a solarium sunbath every two weeks, the original vitamin D level remained constant and a visit a week it rose.