Vitamin D is called the “sunshine vitamin” for one obvious reason. The human body produces the vitamin after short exposure to sunlight. Moreover, medicals studies are piling up to prove the excellent health benefits of Vitamin D.
What is Vitamin D?
Despite its designation, Vitamin D is considered in the medical community as a pro-hormone and not actually a vitamin. The reason for this is that the human body is actually capable of producing its own Vitamin D through short and controlled exposure to sunlight. On the other hand, conventional vitamins are essentially nutrients that the human body cannot synthesize on its own and therefore rely its acquisition through food, diet, and supplements.
How the human body produces Vitamin D?
While the easiest answer to this is through sunlight exposure, there is a more complicated explanation to this. The human body produces Vitamin D when sunlight converts cholesterol which is usually found on the skin into calciol or Vitamin D3. Calciol is then converted into calcidiol or 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 in the liver. Calcidiol is then coverted by the kidney into the active form of Vitamin D also known as calcitriol or 1,25-hydroxyvitanmin D3.
Medical experts have concluded that a mere 5 to 10 minutes of bare skin exposure to sunlight for 2 to 3 times per week allows the body to produce sufficient amounts of Vitamin D.
Is Vitamin D essential to skin care?
Several medical studies have found out that Vitamin D is an essential nutrients for preserving a healthy skin. Metabolized Vitamin D produces calcitriol which has excellent antimicrobial properties. This is why minor acne cases tend to disappear after a brief exposure to the sun.
Our skin is the largest organ of our body. Much like our other organs, our skin needs nutrients and vitamins in order to properly regenerate. Vitamin D is essential in skin cell growth, metabolism and repair. It helps skin cells destroy free radicals which accelerates the aging process.
How does Vitamin D help my skin?
Vitamin D is one of the best cure for skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema. In effect, many medical studies have found out that a body with healthy levels of Vitamin D is much less prone to skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis.
Minor cases of psoriasis and eczema are can be treated by regular exposure to sunlight. However, experts advise not to overdo it as prolonged exposure to sunlight might cause sun burn, or worse skin cancer. As always, moderation is always the key.
How do I get my daily dose of Vitamin D?
Exposure to sunlight is still the best way to produce Vitamin D. However, there are certain parts of the world that do not get ample sunlight for their body to be able to produce enough Vitamin D. This is where Vitamin D supplements come in.
Skin care products like lotion and creams are now laced with certain levels of Vitamin D. In fact, many medical experts agree that topical applications of lotions and creams with Vitamin D is one of the most effective ways of getting the nutrient into the system.
Do Vitamin D supplements work?
Medical experts have yet to conclude whether Vitamin D supplements actually work. Studies have showed that the type of Vitamin D found on conventional supplements may not be as effective as those found in naturally occurring Vitamin D sources.
However, there is a significant portion of the human populace who do not want to expose their skin to the sun. Reasons behind these decision are diverse ranging from ultraviolet exposure to plain lack of sunlight in their area.
The common consensus in the medical community is that Vitamin D is essential in keeping our body fit and healthy. Whether or not Vitamin D supplements are effective is still up for debate and experts are still conducting tests regarding its efficacy.
Are Vitamin D supplements safe?
Vitamin D supplements are generally safe whether taken by mouth or as a shot directly into the muscle. While overdose of Vitamin D is very rare, taking Vitamin D in higher doses for prolonged period of time are considered unsafe due to long-time effects. The best precaution here is to consult a health expert regarding what type of Vitamin D supplement is fit for you.
People suffering from acute kidney diseases are warned to check with medical experts before taking Vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D may cause an increase in calcium levels of the body and may open up the risk of hardening of the arteries. People sustaining serious kidney diseases should have their calcium level closely monitored.
Which is better? Vitamin D supplements or lotions?
The positive effects of Vitamin D supplements are still a little bit hazy. No conclusive medical study have pointed out that it is essential or it has groundbreaking effects to our overall health.
On the other hand, dermatologists and skin care experts can attest to the efficacy of lotions and creams with Vitamin D. Topical application of Vitamin means that it gets straight to the skin and not metabolized within the body. This application means that the skin gets its needed nutrients and Vitamins directly without being metabolized in the body which takes quite some time.
Can I overdose in Vitamin D?
Medical experts have imposed the recommended safe daily intake of Vitamin D at 4000 IU. The National Institutes of Health have stated that Vitamin D will only become toxic to the human body once daily intakes exceed 10,000 IU.
Medical experts advise that rather than focusing on one particular vitamin, one vital key in preserving a healthy body is to create a daily diet that includes all essential nutrients and vitamins.
Is too much Vitamin D bad to the skin?
There is no such thing as “too much” Vitamin D. Nevertheless, always be wary of topical applications of Vitamin D especially if you have allergic reactions to it. You might not be allergic to Vitamin D but some components of lotions and creams might induce allergic reactions to your skin. Be safe and always read the labels.