The main conflict surrounding this vitamin is whether or not using sunscreen prevents our bodies from manufacturing necessary amounts of Vitamin D. In order to understand this debate, it is necessary to understand what Vitamin D is and how it is produced.
Vitamin D s a fat-soluble vitamin that while found in some food items is predominantly made in the body through exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Food sources of Vitamin D include fortified milk and milk products, cod liver oil, and various fish. While it is indeed possible to get your recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D through food, sunshine is truly the most significant source of vitamin D because UV rays trigger vitamin D synthesis in the skin.
It is not necessary to spend large amounts of time in the sun to create this synthesis, Ten to fifteen minutes of sun exposure at least two times per week to the face, arms, hands, or back without sunscreen is usually sufficient to provide adequate vitamin D. While the main function in the body of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood values of calcium and phosphorus, it also plays a vital role in skincare, as the most substantiated information pertaining to vitamin D and skin involves its role as a potential treatment for psoriasis and its involvement in the prevention of skin cancers.
Psoriasis sufferers may know that the active form of vitamin D, known as calcitrol, helps to control the proliferation of skin cells that leads to psoriatic lesions and also to moderate the immune systems reaction to this disorder. Vitamin D deficiency is surprisingly quite common and can lead to problem s with cell growth that effect all organs, of which the skin is the largest. Researchers are also working to prove that long-term vitamin D deficiency leads to cancer and some believe that further exploration into topical vitamin D treatments may prove useful in finding a way to protect skin cells from the DNA damage that leads to cancer.
As a simple cosmetic and health supplement, Vitamin D is not one of the more popular topical treatments, however, it is very clearly an important element in skin health. People at risk for vitamin D deficiency, such as people with limited exposure to sunlight, people who suffer from obesity, or people with kidney disorders that limit their ability to process vitamin D, should take vitamin D supplements and do their best to get at least a minimal amount of exposure to midday sun.