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Does skin color matter in vitamin D absorption?

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Kamal Saini
Kamal S. has been Journalist and Writer for Business, Hardware and Gadgets at Revyuh.com since 2018. He deals with B2b, Funding, Blockchain, Law, IT security, privacy, surveillance, digital self-defense and network policy. As part of his studies of political science, sociology and law, he researched the impact of technology on human coexistence. Email: kamal (at) revyuh (dot) com

Vitamin D is an essential micronutrient for health. We can incorporate this nutritive element properly into the body naturally by exposing the skin to the ultraviolet rays of the sun and by consuming certain foods.

Thus, during the Covid-19 pandemic, vitamin D deficiency has been observed among the population. Specifically, several studies carried out in the US ensure that more than 50% of Americans have a lack of vitamin D in the body. A percentage that rises to 60% in pregnant women and up to a worrying 80% in the elderly.

What factors influence getting vitamin D from the sun?

Being a vitamin that the body itself generates by skin contact with the sun’s rays, there are certain times of the year when its presence is less in the body. That is, it is more common for people to show a deficit of this micronutrient in periods of the year such as winter or autumn compared to spring or summer.

In the same way, the geographical area in which each person lives and the number of hours of sunshine they can enjoy throughout the day will also have an influence. Therefore, it is also important to supplement vitamin D levels through diet.

Although, the experts explain that there are certain factors that influence the synthesis of vitamin D in an adequate way. Here we show you the most transcendental conditions.

Daily cycle of sun exposure

It is necessary to know that the effective solar biological radiation of vitamin D production offers a daily cycle, which is directly linked to the zenith angle and the drastic reduction of ultraviolet wavelength radiation.

In this sense, the effective biological radiation to optimally produce vitamin D through the skin occurs in the central hours of the day, between 12:00 and 19:00, but it also depends on the region to region.

As indicated by the experts in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, indicate that an increase of approximately four times the time of exposure is necessary to obtain healthy levels of vitamin D during the summer.

Does skin type influence getting vitamin D?

The answer is yes. The darker the skin, the greater the solar dose required to generate vitamin D. This occurs because melanin competes with active photons in the production of this micronutrient so essential for health.

However, in this sense, the experts explain the following: We must not go crazy with vitamin D. It is true that since it depends on UVB radiation, which is very high in spring and summer, but very low in autumn and winter, at this time we would have to be exposed to the sun for several hours to synthesize enough vitamin D and we are also very covered. However, in summer and spring, it is sufficient if the sun shines on your legs, arms, and face for 15 minutes at least 3 times a week, considering that with age the skin also decreases its ability to synthesize this vitamin.

Thus, another curious fact is that the skin, as it ages, loses the capacity to produce vitamin D, which is why young people find it easier to generate this micronutrient by skin exposure to UVB rays.

On the other hand, it is necessary to clarify that the experts in dermatology do not recommend exposing the skin to ultraviolet radiation, since this fact considerably increases the risk of skin cancer. Therefore, it is best to sunbathe moderately, especially in spring and winter, and go-to foods rich in this micronutrient, to maintain correct levels of vitamin D.

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