Vitamin D from Sun is an essential component required by the body to protect us from a plethora of diseases like muscle weakness, cancer, osteoporosis, or depression. It plays many roles in the body to maintain optimum health.
As an example, this vitamin is responsible for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus which are required for bone health and bone strength. Sunlight exposure plays a vital role in getting natural and sufficient quantities of Vitamin D required by the body to maintain bodily functions. Let’s check out these factors for knowing how much sun exposure and what times during the day are best for getting Vitamin D from the sun.
What is the science behind Sunlight and Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is also known as” the sunshine vitamin”. When we expose our bodies to sunlight, short wave ultraviolet B (UVB) meets the cholesterol in our skin cells to produce Vitamin D.
This is why sun exposure is important for getting enough Vitamin D that is required for the body.
How Much Vitamin D is required by the Body?
The commonly recommended daily dose of vitamin D is 600 IU (15 mcg).
Can you take supplements as an alternative to sunlight exposure?
Only a handful of foods contain Vitamin D like egg yolk, beef liver, canned tuna, cod liver oil, salmon to name a few. They act as “supplements” but the quantity that is produced by sun exposure and the quantity in them differs significantly.
So the intake needs to be each day in adequate quantities for meeting the daily of this Vitamin.
Best Time during the day for exposure?
Around noon, the sun is at its peak in emitting UVB. Hence, during this time the maximum benefits of Vitamin D production can be obtained.
This means you need less time in the sun to produce enough quantities of Vitamin D. It’s also safer at this time to avoid Ultraviolet A (UVA), which penetrates deep into the skin causing premature aging.
How Long You Should Expose Yourself in the Sun?
This might vary as the geography of the country you are in. For example, if your country is near the equator, then you might need to spend more time than people residing in countries near the equator.
On average, sunlight exposure of 15 minutes to 30 minutes is enough depending on the sunlight intensity in your country.
Clothes during Sun Light Exposure.
Since the Vitamin is produced by UVB reaching the cholesterol through the skin, your skin should be exposed to the sun. Layers like clothes or window glass, restrict the UVB from reaching the skin, hence you should avoid wearing clothes that cover the whole body or restrict skin exposure.
Also, trying to take the sun sitting near a closed glass window will not help.
Can Sun Light Darken the Skin Tone?
Yes. But this is also a categorical factor depending on the skin tone. People with darker skin tones especially in India or equatorial regions have more Melanin.
This acts as a natural sunscreen and people with more melanin need more sunlight exposure than people who are light-skinned.
Should You Apply Sunscreen for Getting Vitamin D?
No. The sunscreen will reflect the UVB away from the skin, hence the whole process of natural production of Vitamin D is hampered. Do not wear sunscreen while getting exposed to sunlight for a few minutes for the process to happen.
- Sunlight Exposure is a more natural way of getting adequate amounts of Vitamin D.
- Noon or mid-day is the best time to get yourself exposed to the sun.
- 15-30 minutes of sunlight exposure are enough for the daily needs of Vitamin D.
- Do not cover your body as Vitamin D is produced when UVB penetrates through the skin.