We all love sunbathing. It is an understatement that we enjoy the feeling of sun rays on our skin. Our biology asks us for vitamin D, and the sun provides us with this vitamin. We need Vitamin D! Vitamin D helps our body absorb Phosphorus and Calcium two minerals that are critical for bone, muscle, immune and nervous system health. While it’s true that you can get vitamin D from sun exposure you can also get vitamin D from food and from supplements.

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Sun Damage – Vitamin D intake

Ultra violet radiation from the sun can cause sunburns, skin cancer, sun spots, damage to the eyes, alteration of the immune system of the skin. Additionally ultraviolet radiation from the Sun prematurely ages the skin and contributes to wrinkles, which is undesirable to all. There is no proven amount of Sun that can increase your vitamin D intake without also increasing your risk of skin damage. It is advised that if you are vitamin D deficient or in a vitamin D insufficiency that you talk to a certified and trained professional about how to treat your condition.

Dietary Vitamin D

Depending on where you live you may have minimal sun exposure in the winter months, so dietary vitamin D may be a great alternative. Vitamin D cannot be processed by our body unless it’s processed by our liver and kidneys. Our liver and kidney health is directly related to our ability to use vitamin D.

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Some foods rich in vitamin D are: Cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, trout, ham, fortified dairy (milk/yogurt), orange juice, pork chops, sardines, fish roe, eggs, chicken, beef, cod, cheddar cheese, mushrooms, avocado

Importance of Sunscreen

Sunscreen is the holy grail for sun damage protection. Sunscreen acts a barrier between our skin and environmental pollutants, dangerous UVA/UVB rays, and heat damage. It is best to use sunscreens that are water resistant and to reapply every two hours or as instructed by your dermatologist. Even on a cloudy day it is suggested to apply sunscreen as there may still be a risk for sun damage.

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Our Staff Pick favourites:

  • Bagder 35SPF Unscented Cream
  • Badger 35SPF Facestick

Vitamin D Deficiency

A deficit in vitamin D can present its self in many ways such as: thinning or brittle bones, osteoporosis, or frequent bone fractures. muscle weakness, change in muscle strength, changes in mood, change in energy levels. Some people who have low vitamin D may experience anxiety or depression. Skin condition such as psoriasis and ichthyosis (severe dry skin) have shown improvement with an increase in vitamin D intake.

Winter Blues

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) sometimes referred to as ‘winter blues’, is caused by the season changing and a drop in vitamin D. Studies suggest that our body’s natural circadian rhythm is disrupted.

This leads to changes in mood, sleep, appetite, digestion, lethargy, trouble concentrating , tearfulness. SAD is most prevalent during the months December – February. Light therapy and vitamin D supplements are often used to treat SAD. The lack of natural sunlight causes a deficient in vitamin D,  serotonin, as well as an increase in melatonin.

Common Myths About Vitamin D:

Myth #1: Tanning beds provide Vitamin D like the sun

  • Tanning beds although they mimic sun exposure are actually quite harmful to the skin, do not provide vitamin D and act as a carcinogen

Myth#2: Sunscreen can cause Vitamin D deficiency

  • Can sunscreen cause vitamin D deficiency? The answer is there is not enough evidence to suggest that the use of regular sunscreen can result in vitamin D insufficiency

Myth#3: A decrease of Vitamin D can lead to other health complications?

  • Many conditions such as SAD, osteoporosis, muscles weakness, psoriasis, ichthyosis have been shown to have an association with low vitamin D levels.