Sunlight spurs the production of Vitamin D in our bodies. Once produced, Vitamin D turns into a powerful hormone which targets more than 2,000 genes in the human body.
Research shows Vitamin D deficiency is a major factor in the development of at least 17 types of cancer, as well as stroke, heart attack, diabetes and chronic pain.
But how does our body “make” Vitamin D from sunlight?
The action of sunlight on 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin changes into Vitamin D3, which is then transported to the liver, then to the kidneys, and converted by a series of enzymatic reactions into the most potent form of Vitamin D.
Many of us are at risk for Vitamin D deficiency. Dark-skinned people can have less Vitamin D stored in their bodies because it takes a lot more sunshine for dark skin to make the vitamin. Some people have a genetic issue that prevents them from fully utilising this nutrient, and need added Vitamin D in the daily regimen.
Others with liver or kidney disease are unable to activate Vitamin D properly to make it useable in their body.
Vitamin D helps us absorb Calcium and Phosphorus for strong bones. Many medicines reduce our Vitamin D levels.
It’s therefore very important to ensure adequate intake of this under-rated and vital nutrient.