Many people ask, is there vitamin from the sun? In the media the risks of sunlight for the development of skin cancer are repeatedly pointed out. According to the health authorities, children in particular should not go into the sun without sunscreen with a high sun protection factor or sufficiently protective clothing.
On the other hand, they warn of the dangers of vitamin D deficiency, which in turn can result from a lack of sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to increase the risk of certain cancers and leads to bone growth disorders in young children. It is also known that unborn babies whose mothers suffer from vitamin D deficiency can develop certain autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes, more often than children.
Vitamin D is Vitamin from the sun?
Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D can be produced by the human body itself, but only under the influence of sunlight: the cholesterol built up in the skin is converted into provitamin D when exposed to sunlight.
This “light hormone” reaches the liver via the blood, where it is stored as vitamin D3. In a further step, it can be converted into active vitamin D3 in the kidneys and other organs. Sunlight and the age and health of the liver and kidneys play a decisive role in the formation of vitamin D.
It was already known 100 years ago that children who did not get enough sunlight were prone to rickets, which manifested itself in growth disorders and severe bone deformations. It was found that the absorption of calcium, which is essential for bone formation, depends on the body’s vitamin D levels. Since vitamin D is hardly or only in small amounts in food (such as some fish species), the body has to produce it itself – and is dependent on sunlight.
Vitamin D not only has a building and shaping effect on bone formation. It is essential for a well-functioning immune system. Vitamin D deficiency, for example, can lead to increased immune deficiencies and autoimmune diseases. Moreover, vitamin D shows a certain protective effect against cancer, especially breast and colon cancer.
Sufficient vitamin D is also necessary for a healthy course of pregnancy. One could put it like this: The light of the sun has a shaping effect through the formation of vitamin D (bones), it helps us to arrive on earth (pregnancy) and to develop healthily (immune system, avoidance of cancer). However, the effect of sunlight on humans cannot be reduced to vitamin D formation.
The sleep-wake rhythm, which is also very important for the immune system, but also for learning and concentration, is also stimulated by the absorption of sunlight through the eye. The internal regulation of hormones is also strongly dependent on sunlight. There are indications that sunlight/vitamin D deficiency favors certain forms of depression, some of which can also be treated with light therapy.
Sufficient exercise in the open air can therefore not simply be replaced by vitamin D tablets. On the contrary, many of the effects attributed to vitamin D are derived from comparing people with high and low vitamin D levels. The positive effects are not only due to vitamin D. As a rule, however, people with high vitamin D levels also show a comparatively healthier rhythm of life with sufficient exercise in the open air.
Supplementation should be discussed with the doctor beforehand.