Sunlight and Vitamin D – It won’t work in winter!

by Mar 3, 2019Health, Immunity, Nutrition0 comments


People think that when they are out in the sun, they will be getting enough vitamin D from the warming rays above. This is incorrect. Depending on the time of year, despite good sun exposure, you may be making little or no vitamin D whatsoever.

How can this be?
It’s all about angles. As the sun sits lower in the sky during winter we are not able to harness it’s powerful rays to make vitamin D in the same way we are during the summer months.  For the Kiwi’s that’s April to October time. In the UK it’s an even longer winter window from about mid August until late April they the Briton’s will not be able to make their own vitamin D. 

UVB assists our production of vitamin D.  If all the UVB rays are blocked – NO VITAMIN D!!!  UVB is reflected by the atmosphere, so the more atmosphere it has to penetrate, the less UVB reaches our bodies, making the essential difference as the seasons change.  Throw in cloudy and overcast weather, or high levels of pollution, this filters yet more UVB.  Finally, if you are behind a glass window in a car or at work, you will be missing out on more sunny goodness.  So, if you’re in a country with poor pollution levels and bad weather and don’t get out doors much, you have little chance of getting your precious vitamin D. 

There are no such problems with UVA getting though to us, but it is the skin damaging kind of light – which ages our skin quicker if we get too much of it. It will penetrate glass and be doing its damage so we need to be careful and use protection for any decent time in the sun. 

It’s all about maths really! If you get your protractor out you’ll see all the angles on there from 0 to 180. 90 in the middle is when the sun is at it’s highest and has the most impact on us. Anything 50 or below and the sun will not be having a vitamin D effect on us.  

The good news is we are able to store vit D in our bodies but it will eventually be used up over the early winter months as we aren’t topping it up with summer time sun.

How do we know? ‘The Shadow Test’

If you stand in the sun and your shadow is as tall as you but not taller then the sun is at an angle that will help you make vitamin D. If however the shadow is longer/taller than you then the angle is not going to help you make the vitamin D you may need. 

Vitamin D Supplements and sun protection:

​To protect your skin from sun damage obviously it pays to cover up after a too long. But if your diet contains a good level of anti oxidants you will be setting yourself up for better protection again the harm that the suns rays can do to your body. Colourful fruit and veg is the way to do this. 

Other ways you can support your vitamin D levels is with foods such as:  Fatty fish like mackerel, salmon and tuna Grass fed beef and egg yolks Mushrooms and cod liver oil (a table spoon gives you 300% of you recommended daily needs)​

Are you struggling with eating the right things for your health. Wondering if you have all your bases covered to achieve your goals. 
Why not try the Fit 4 Life Get Going with Nutrition package. This helps set you on the path to healthy eating with support and guidance. Add in your Epigenetic profile and that will keep you going from a lifestyle and food perspective – specifically designed for you and your body.

Or call Rich for a confidential chat on 021777417. 

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