Vitamin D is a crucial element that our bodies require for multiple functions. In addition to promoting strong bones, teeth, and muscles, it assists in regulating the absorption and retention of calcium and phosphorus, crucial components for bone health. Sunlight is the most effective way to obtain vitamin D, hence its nickname, the sunshine vitamin. Nevertheless, what role does the sun play and the factors that come into play are not known in detail.
Almost all of us have questioned whether sunlight through the window glass provides vitamin D. Luke Coutinho, a Holistic Nutritionist specializing in the field of Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine, recently answered this question on his instagram profile.
The nutrition expert clarifies that sunlight does not directly supply vitamin D. Rather, when the skin is exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays, the body produces vitamin D through synthesis. After this biologically inactive form of vitamin D is synthesized, the liver and kidneys convert it into active forms, which the body can utilize to support various functions such as calcium absorption, bone health, immunity, and hormonal balance.
According to numerous studies, midday, especially during summer, is considered the ideal time to get sunlight for sufficient vitamin D production. This is because the sun's UVB rays are most intense at noon when it is at its highest point in the sky. Consequently, the body requires less time in the sun to produce the necessary amounts of vitamin D. In addition to being more effective for vitamin D production, midday sun exposure may also be safer compared to exposure at other times of the day. A particular study discovered that afternoon sun exposure could potentially increase the risk of skin cancer, which can be dangerous and even life-threatening.