Vitamin D or Sunblock

Vitamin D or Sunblock -  What do during the dark winter months.

Vitamin D is a powerful antioxidant and an important anti-carcinogen, it helps in fight against the premature aging of skin and prevents damage to the skin’s structure.  Our main source of it comes from exposure to the sun. During the dark winter months we are not getting enough, … and with the worry of premature aging due to the damage from UV rays, what are we to do?

An important vitamin for healthy and strong teeth, bones, nails, eyes. It also aids the absorption of calcium by the body and regulates both calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood. We can hardly allow ourselves to become deficient in it!

It’s true that we should avoid too much sun exposure, even during the winter months. But do we need to wear sunblock all day and never get any direct sun exposure? I don’t think so.  In the UK we are becoming more and more deficient in Vitamin D and likely to develop SAD, (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Even in Summer I think we should get 10 minutes of daily direct sun exposure early in the morning, when the sun is soft and pleasant.  In winter I would double this to 20 minutes, also best in the morning. A jog or walk first thing in the morning is enough to get your daily quota . This should of course be done with unprotected skin from sunblock.  Once we've had our daily fill of ultra violet light we should then protect our delicate skin from further UV and UVA. As we all know too much exposure can lead to skin cancer and premature aging.

Vitamin D  may also be obtained via our diet, although not everyone is efficient in absorbing it properly this way.

Foods containing vitamin D are mainly found in proteins such as oily fish, egg yolks. milk and some fortified breakfast cereals.  It you feel that you may benefit from taking a Vitamin D supplement, it is best to consult with a nutritionist or a GP as too much intake can lead to health problems.

Points to remember for the winter months:

Try to get 20 minutes of direct sun light onto unprotected skin during early morning.

Get a daylight lamp for the home or office if not able to get out in the morning.

Use a natural sunblock for during the day if out and about.

Eat more oily fish and other foods containing vitamin D.