Vitamin D Synthesis and Activation in Human Skin
Vitamin D synthesis is one of many essential to our health metabolic processes, occurring in our bodies. It may not sound like much to you, unless you gain a fuller understanding of vitamin D function in our body and the way we produce and activate it. Let’s take a look at some basic facts on vitamin D and how we get it.
Now, first of all, let me mention, that vitamin D plays vital role in calcium and phosphorus absorption. Our bones are not able to absorb those essential elements without vitamin D. Besides, being a pro-hormone, vitamin D prevents cancer, maintains proper blood formula and takes care of many other key health functions in our bodies. That is why vitamin D deficiency may become a serious health problem.
Vitamin D synthesis takes place, when our skin gets exposed to sun rays. We start producing it, when our skin comes in contact with specific sun rays, called UV-B rays. And, vitamin D production starts only, when the amount of these UV-B rays crosses a certain limit. Saying it in other words, if you get less rays, than you need, your skin does not start vitamin D production and you risk of developing lack of this vitamin in your body.
In many climate zones, there is a certain period of year, when your bodies do not come in contact with enough of UV-B rays and cease to produce enough of vitamin D. This season is called a “vitamin D winter.”
In most regions of the world, located at 51 degrees latitude and higher, people experience different duration period of vitamin D winter. At this, the intensity of UV-B rays, we get exposed to, depend not only on the latitude, but on climate conditions. Clouds and other natural elements, such as level of ozone, can cut down or increase the amount of UV-B rays, we get.
Now, another way to activate vitamin D in our bodies, is to synthesize it from animal foods and cholesterol, we consume in them.
Such foods, as dairy products, fatty fish, lard, and cod liver oil, etc, are rich with vitamin D. This vitamin is sensitized by our bodies from cholesterol. That is why there is a direct link between the levels of cholesterol in animal foods, we consume, and the level of vitamin D, synthesized and activated in our bodies.
Low cholesterol diet can lead to vitamin D deficiency and consequently cause serious health problems.
So, the combination of proper diet and getting enough of skin exposure to UV-B sun rays stimulates vitamin D synthesis in our skin and helps our bodies to run all the metabolism processes the right way.