Winter is officially with us here in the Southern Hemisphere in 2 days time, and Vitamin D absorption is a particular concern in these months.
This is because vitamin D is unique compared to other vitamins, in that your body can make its own vitamin D when you expose your skin to sunlight, whereas you need to get other vitamins from the foods you eat.
YES, our body can make its own vitamin D from sunlight.
Otherwise, only a very small amount comes from a few foods you eat, such as some fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks and in fortified dairy, cereals and grain products. Therefore vegans and vegetarians are one of the groups more prone to low levels and need to be vigilant regards this vitamin.
Low Vitamin D levels are said to be the cause of a myriad of disease issues including Inflammation which affects the immune system. Please research further for individual concerns.
Finding out how long to stay in the sun in order to produce enough amounts of vitamin D is different for every person. There isn’t one recommendation for everyone. It depends on a number of factors, such as how dark your skin is or how easily you get sunburnt, the thickness of the ozone layer, the time of the year and what time of day it is.
It is suggested that short daily period of sun exposure without sunscreen (about 10-15 minutes for lighter-skinned people) during the summer months is enough for most people to make enough vitamin D.
Evidence suggests that the most effective time of day for vitamin D production is between 11am and 3pm. In winter, generally the closer to midday the more effective the absorption. The larger the area of skin that is exposed to sunlight, the more chance there is of making enough vitamin D before you start to burn.
As I state in the Being Well Basics handbook, please do your own research relating to your individual tolerance to and absorption of vitamin D regards sun exposure.