Vitamin D is required for healthy and strong bones. We do get some vitamin D from the foods we take in but actually, the best source of this vitamin comes mostly from the sunlight. Some people do not have enough of this vitamin D and that is when it is classified as a health risk also known as vitamin D deficiency. The deficiency of Vitamin D on our body is very common nowadays. It has been widely recognized at an alarming rate globally which makes it as a health concern because it can affect not people from different age groups and ethnicity (from children to adults and elders).
This vitamin deficiency over the course of time has rapidly hit an estimated people of over one billion worldwide. Many people experience this vitamin deficiency and there are several factors which contribute as to why it is a condition that is rampantly acquired. However, on the other hand, there had been recent studies that show and has proven the widespread usage of sunscreens can actually harm us and one of the factors that contribute to vitamin deficiency.
Sun Exposure as Source of Vitamin D
The body’s process in producing vitamin D is through cholesterol. Sunlight (sun exposure but in moderate level only) is needed because it helps to trigger the process of conversion. Adequate sun exposure level is equal to adequate production of vitamin D, so sunlight is very important. The amount of the vitamin needed varies from person to person. One person might need more vitamin D compared to most people and this is where the production efficiency of the vitamin D is related to. This process is dependent to the UVB photons available in order to get into the skin deep. This process can also be dampened depending on factors such as the excess of body fats, clothing, melanin or the skin’s pigment, and sunscreen.
Moreover, several studies conducted have shown that there are several high-risk populations such as the elders, breastfeeding mothers, and pregnant women who may gain more or benefit from the required vitamin D. Over the course of years, our society has repeatedly being made aware of such harmful effects of excessive sun exposure particularly the concerns regarding cancer of the skin. And as an end result, most people are now very conscious and careful about applying on sunscreen before going out of their houses and if they decide to stay outdoors all throughout the day.
According to some professors, because of the warnings of health teachings, many people prefer to stay at home if they do not have important matters to attend to during daytime. Meaning, they spend less time outdoors and they typically wear an ample amount of sunscreen on their face and body making sure to protect themselves from the harmful rays of the sun. However because of this, it also nullifies the ability of the body to produce the vitamin D we needed. Because the sunscreens are made in order to block the UVB range, the skin loses its capacity to produce enough vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency linked to various diseases
If we lack vitamin D on our system, we are also prone to various diseases associated with this condition. For example, people who live on higher latitudes, these people has a much higher risk in dying from several cancer types like Hodgkin lymphoma compared to those people who are living on lower altitudes. In addition to this, a clinical study has long revealed that people who consume 200 IU to 600 IU of calcium and vitamin D3 for 2 times to 4 times daily has resulted to a 50% up to 70% reduction of expected cancer rate incidences for over 4 years. The clinical study was conducted at a university named Creighton by J. Lappe and her other colleagues.
There are also several previous clinical studies that have been conducted wherein the deficit of vitamin D is being linked to several health disorders like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and multiple sclerosis. Plus, exposure to the sun has been proven to have a potential effect in protecting our bodies against illnesses including asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and some other infectious diseases.