Why Going Outside is not Enough to Boost Your Vitamin D
Don’t be fooled, most people can’t get enough Vitamin D3 from the sun. In order to get sufficient amounts here’s what you would really need to do:
- Sit naked in the sun for at least 25 minutes per day, if you have dark skin you need longer.
- Don’t bathe for 24-48 hours after sun exposure. Bathing stops the vital chemical reaction on the skin that is converting the sunlight into Vitamin D 3 for you.
- Don’t use any sunscreen, lotions or potions on your skin before or right after sunbathing.
- Ensure that your body is efficiently doing all the chemical conversions to make Vitamin D3 for you which occur on your skin, in your liver, and finally in your kidneys.
- Live in a sunny place with few clouds, haze and pollution. (Any Northern state with less sun exposure has higher rates of certain kinds of cancers linked to low Vitamin D3.
If that sounds impractical it’s because it is.
I’ve always heard that you get Vitamin D from the sun. Well this isn’t exactly true.
There is a three phases process for the conversion of Vitamin D 3 from the sun to your skin and then your entire body.
Here is how it works:
- Ultraviolet B rays from the sun convert a precursor in your skin (7-dehydrocholesterol) into Vitamin D 3, but it’s still unusable by your body.
- Next the liver gets involved, here the D3 mixes with oxygen and hydrogen to change it into 25-hydroxyvitamin D. This is what most doctors test your blood for but it is still the inactive form of Vitamin D.
- The third and final step occurs in the kidneys, where more oxygen and hydrogen molecules attach to 25-hydroxyvitamin D and convert it into it’s active form known as 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D, or calcitriol.
I love to find the most beneficial and natural way to work with the human body and mind. Sun exposure is helpful but often simply not enough. Please consider taking a daily dose of a good quality Vitamin D3 without toxic additives or rancid/poor quality oils like soy or corn.
There are a few on the market that have a very healthy carrier oil called Medium Chain Triglycerides. Look for this in your supplement. Dosing of Vitamin D3 depends on your weight and current Vitamin D3 status. Children need less than adults. Some doctors believe an adult dose of 2000 IU/day is adequate, others promote 5000 IU/day.
Two of my favorite brands are Liqua-D by Apex Energetics, and D3-K2 Nanoemulsified by Quicksilver Scientific. Read dosing carefully as one drop of Liqua-D contains 2000 IU of Vit D 3, you may need 1-4 drops a day depending on your current Vitamin D 3 status.
To get the most out of taking your Vitamin D3 you also need to consider important mineral cofactors that support your body to utilize the D3 properly. These are Magnesium, Boron and Zinc.
Magnesium is necessary for your body to make energy from the food you eat, controlling your blood pressure, controlling blood sugar levels and keeping your heart beating regularly.
The Vitamin D Council believes that the daily amounts of magnesium recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board aren’t enough to keep your body healthy and supplementation is recommended. Some research studies show that your body needs between 500 and 700 mg a day. Excessive use can cause diarrhea.
Magnesium is important in order for your body to use vitamins and other minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and vitamin D.
Zinc is a mineral found mainly in your muscles and bones. It helps your body perform many vital functions such as:
-fighting infection and healing wounds.
-helping your body to make new cells and substances called enzymes.
-helping your body to use the carbohydrate, fat and protein in food.
-growth and development – so it’s vital to get enough during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence.
-your sense of taste and smell.
Zinc isn’t stored in your body so you need to eat foods that contain it or supplement daily. Zinc helps Vitamin D3 work in your cells and helps strengthen and develop your bones. Oysters have a high concentration of zinc. If you are taking any medications that are intended to suppress your immune system consult your doctor before taking zinc.
Boron is a trace mineral that you need in small amounts. Fruits, leafy vegetables and nuts contain boron. This trace mineral works with Vitamin D3 to help your bones use the minerals they need such as calcium.
Most doctors order 25 dihydroxyvitamin D but this is the inactive form and may not be accurate. Get your Calcitriol 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D blood levels checked and ask your doctor to recommend an appropriate dose of Vitamin D3 for supplementation.
A healthy Vit D3 blood level is about 45-75 ng/mL, depending on your unique biological needs. The Vitamin D counsel recommends an average of 50 ng/mL. I’ve learned to individualize things, some people do better with Vit. D levels that are 75, and others lower. People with known autoimmunity, immune dysfunction or living in Northers states should have their levels tested regularly.
Don’t be fooled by internet chatter that promotes sun exposure alone to boost your Vitamin D3 levels. It’s likely your Vitamin D3 levels are under what is optimal for your body. Be an informed consumer and ask your doctor to test both 25 dihydroxyvitamin D and Calcitriol 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D. Speak with a functional and holistic healthcare provider who can individualize dosing and better support your unique health situation.
Blessings of Vibrant Health,
Kristin Grayce McGary
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Kristin Grayce McGary weaves 20 years of experience, education, and wisdom with profound compassion to provide you with individualized, empowered, and holistic opportunities to heal on all levels. She is a passionate and dynamic teacher who truly embodies her work. She artfully blends healing modalities to guide you on a transformative path to optimal health