Vitamin D- The Sunshine Vitamin

Vitamin D- The Sunshine Vitamin

Vitamin D is one of the vitamins that may well regarded as being part of the group of so called essential nutrients. What makes it to stand out in this bit otherwise homogenous group of "essential" nutrients is its unusual dual sourcing: it can be made by the body upon exposure of the skin to the sun and it may be obtained as well from a select number of especially fortified foods and from dietary supplements. This vitamin is multi-dimensional; it takes care of everything, from the health of your bones to the regulation of your immune system, and hence, it is very interesting when it comes to health and wellbeing.

Vitamin D and its spectrum:

As one of the fat-soluble vitamins, Vitamin D is indispensable to—and involved—in a wide array of vital bodily activities, from the health of your bones through the regulation of your immune system to stabilizing of your mood. The food or dietary supplement has two forms of vitamin D: ergocalciferol or vitamin D2 and cholecalciferol or vitamin D3 - they just break differently chemically, with their sidechain structures. Absorbed forms in the intestines are readily well-absorbed; however, Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants, and therefore present in some plant-based foods. Most people get it from the ultraviolet B rays of the sun that pass through their skin, converted with cholesterol to form Vitamin D3. Naturally occurring Vitamin D is only found in very few foods, added to others, or present as a dietary supplement. When the ultraviolet UV rays from sunlight hit your skin, it initiates the production of vitamin D that gets synthesized endogenously.

Nutritional supplements may contain Two types of Vitamin D :Vitamin D2 or D3.

The Importance of Vitamin D:

This implies that Vitamin D is very essential to the health of our skeletons since it enables our intestines to re-absorb calcium and phosphorus from the food we eat. Without enough Vitamin D, the body will not be able to use the amount of calcium present in the body. This leads to weak bones. In children, this results in rickets, in which bones become soft and are easily bent. In adults, this results in osteomalacia, where bones become painful and are more prone to fracture.

Effect on Immunity

Apart from bones, Vitamin D also has some effect on our immune system. It also modulates both our innate or natural and adaptive or learned immune responses. These responses are indispensable and play a very vital role in combating infections and autoimmune diseases. So when the levels of Vitamin D decrease, the resulting condition can make one highly susceptible to respiratory infections, such as colds and flu, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Other Possible Health Benefits of Vitamin D:

n addition to bone health and immune function, there are maybe other benefits for cardiovascular, mental health, prevention of cancers. Vitamin D, for example, can prevent cardiovascular diseases by improving the functioning of the endothelium by reducing inflammation in case one has enough of this nutrient. Moreover, various research works cause an assumption that there may also exist a connection between depression and this deficiency as well several kinds of cancers.

Securing Vitamin D: Intake and Sources

Though still the greatest source of this vitamin, sun exposure should not totally throw sun protection out the window in the name of securing amounts of it from the UV source. Find a few minutes of being out-of-doors during peak times without sunscreen to let the body make vitamin D. Skin pigmentation, however may also have some effect of the amount of vitamin D produced, geography or seasonality.

  • Vitamin D is also obtained from some foods like oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, egg yolk and fortified foods such as milk, orange juice, breakfast cereals and via supplementation. If a deficiency of Vitamin D is likely to develop, it may be needed to supplement to ensure adequate intake. For example, this may be necessary in winter or in the case of very limited sun exposure.
  • Vitamin D requirement of most people in the world is satisfied at least in part by casual exposure to sunlight.
  • Such skin-exposed type B UV radiation penetrates uncovered skin and converts previtamin D3, into vitamin D3. Exposure and formation of vitamin D are influenced by season; time of day; length of day; cloud cover; smog; skin melanin content; and sunscreen. People with darker skin and the elderly have a diminished capacity to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight. Since UVB radiation does not penetrate through glass, it will not stimulate vitamin D production in the skin even if you are sitting by a window while the sunlight comes through.
  • A number of human bodies and researchers involved in vitamin D synthesis indicate sufficient sunlight exposure, typically between 5–30 minutes, to the face, arms, or hands and legs, at least twice weekly without sunscreen between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10 a.m. daily. However, though sunlight and UV radiation are very crucial in Vitamin D synthesis, there is a need to limit exposure of skin to a lot of sunlight and UV radiation, because UV Radiation is a carcinogen, and UV exposure happens to be the most preventable cause of skin cancer.

Sunscreens with SPF 8 or more, do indeed -at least-shut out Vitamin D-producing UV rays. However, normally, individuals do not use enough lotion, cover all of their sun exposed skin, or reapply enough frequently. With the normal amounts people apply it is probable that the skin synthesizes at least some of the vitamin D.

Conclusion: It is time to embrace the Sunshine Vitamin

t is, for instance, a multi-purposed nutrient whose effect cuts across health and wellness from supporting bones to immune function, while its effects may have potential 7 in the reduction of risk of chronic disease, amongst others. Knowing why Vitamin D is so important and how you can take it in—whether through sunshine exposure, food sources, or supplements—will help you reach your best Vitamin D levels for overall health.


  • Holick, M. F. (2007). Vitamin D deficiency. New England Journal of Medicine, 357(3), 266-281.
  • Institute of Medicine (US) Committee to Review Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium. (2011). Dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D. National Academies Press (US).
  • Wacker, M., & Holick, M. F. (2013). Sunlight and Vitamin D: A global perspective for health. Dermato-Endocrinology, 5(1), 51-108.
  • National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. (2024). Vitamin D – Consumer Fact Sheet. Retrieved from


Published By: Sakshi Sharma (Certified Nutritionist)

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