The Down-Low On Vitamin D

the vitamin d downlow

Given how important vitamin D is for your health, we should all be making sure we get an adequate daily dose.

The sun’s rays aren’t all bad. When we find the right balance between what’s harmful and what’s not, we can be confident we’ve received the right daily amount of vitamin D.

Responsible for premature ageing of the skin and most skin cancers, the sun often gets a bad rap. Fear of the sun, however, has created another problem altogether, vitamin D deficiency.

By way of statistics, which can easily be searched online, even in our beautiful sunny country, Australia, where the sun shines almost every day of the year, the rate pf vitamin D deficiency is between 23 to 30 percent of the population.

Though this number can fluctuate throughout the year, it peaks in our winter months, when we see less sun.

Despite the sun-loving lifestyle of most Aussies, the stats show we are no better than the population of the UK, who see even less sun than us throughout the year.

What is the danger of a vitamin D deficiency?

In two studies by the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, low vitamin D was responsible for varying illnesses like bone fractures, osteoporosis, colon cancer, fatigue, depression, impaired wound healing, muscle pain, hair loss and many others.

In other studies, it showed increasing vitamin D levels in the body to the right levels, assisted with healing in patients with colon cancer, and even disrupted the growth of breast cancer cells.

The human body is an amazing thing, and just like plants, we need the sun to thrive. To heal, to feel better, to grow, to feel nourished and to feel revitalised. All received from a healthy dose of natural sun rays throughout the day.

This healthy dose of vitamin D comes from the UVB rays, aka: ultraviolet B.

Ultraviolet B rays produce a lot of vitamin D; a key nutrition for healthy bones, healthy skin, assist with better mood, and even naturally boost the immune system. UVB rays make up for around 5 percent of UV rays. The problem is that 5 percent can also be very harmful to the body if you spend too many hours under the sun, without any protection at all.

This is where finding the right balance of how much time you should be spending in the sun important to understand. So, you reap all the benefits of the sunrays, without harming your body at the same time.

Several studies show that the body produces optimal vitamin D between 11am and 2pm. The same window of maximum risk for skin damage. But we don’t need to spend an excessive amount of time in the sun to get the benefits.

Additional studies have shown anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes in the sun is all you need to get all the benefits of the sun, without it causing any serious health complications. And according to the Cancer Council of Australia, sun protection is only required when the UV Index is above 3.

In summer, when the UV index is higher, you can reduce your exposure time from 10 to 20 minutes, before you need to slather on a good dose of sunscreen. In winter 30 to 90 minutes is recommended by leading skin professionals, as the UV Index is always lower in the cooler months.

Here are 3 effective and unique ways to boost your vitamin D levels:

Try a UV Lamp:

Not be mistaken with a tanning lap, a UV lamp is like a blacklight, also referred to as a UV-A light, Wood’s lamp, or ultraviolet light, is a lamp that emits long-wave ultraviolet light and very little visible light. Similar to what is used in a nail salon when using Gel Polish on the nails, and the UV lamp is used to set the Gel on the nails.

Ultraviolet face treatments should always be conducted in a clinic or salon with a skin care professional, to ensure the safety of your skin.

UV Radiation in small doses has been used for the therapeutic treatments of varying skin conditions for several decades, however, recently it has been marketed to improve vitamin D levels.

These devices can be costly, and at-home therapies can be risky if you overexpose your skin, causing it to burn. There are some beauty clinics who use UV therapies for treating bacterial infections of the skin, such as dermatitis and acne, and more affordable if you can purchase a package treatment program.

Eat More Mushrooms:

You may have heard eating more egg yolk is a way of boosting vitamin D levels in the body, but have you heard mushrooms also produce a form of vegetarian vitamin D which is beneficial from the body.

Mushrooms contain a high amount of vitamin D, as they are traditional grown under UV lights like in the wild.

Though wild mushrooms are exposed to more sunlight than store bought ones, unless you know your mushrooms, it’s recommended not go picking them in your local field – as some could cause you sickness.

Look for store bought mushrooms which have been grown using UV light, as they will contain the highest vitamin D count.

Take a Supplement:

Taking a vitamin D supplement is probably the most effective way, and the easiest way to quickly boost your levels.

Taking a vitamin D supplement might be the easiest way to ensure you get adequate daily dosage.

It’s important to purchase high-quality supplements which have been independently tested.

Look for information about the supplements which confirms they have been purity and quality tested by a third party who provide information confirming the standard of the supplement to make sure you’re getting the best for your body.

Rebecca Wilkinson

Beauty Editor

Rebecca is a freelance content creator and beauty editor for Bondi Beauty. She is a pescatarian, who may yet become vegan. She loves all things beauty, health & travel, has a weakness for coffee and is obsessed with cats and yoga. If she's not answering her mobile - it's probably because she's trying out the latest beauty trend, like massaging crushed pearls into her skin for the ultimate collagen and vitamin boost to skin cells.

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