Your body needs the sun for the natural production and use of vitamins 2. Lack of vitamin D or "the sunshine vitamin" is suspected in many health conditions, including osteoporosis and cancer, according to MedlinePlus.com 4. Although you don’t want to overdo it because of the risk of skin cancer, some exposure to the sun can boost your health.
You need the sun’s ultraviolet B rays to manufacture vitamin D. When these rays hit your skin, a reaction takes place in which your skin cells manufacture this vitamin, reports Deborah Kotz in the June 2008 "U.S. News and World Report" article 2. Going outside for 10 minutes at midday will enable you to make about 10,000 international units of vitamin D if you are fair-skinned. The National Institutes of Health recommends 15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen a couple of times a week 34. As you age, it becomes harder for your skin to produce vitamin D. This vitamin from the sun might protect you against many health conditions, including an overactive immune system, heart disease, osteoporosis, and prostate, breast and colon cancers, Kotz notes. It also helps fight insomnia and depression.
- You need the sun’s ultraviolet B rays to manufacture vitamin D. When these rays hit your skin, a reaction takes place in which your skin cells manufacture this vitamin, reports Deborah Kotz in the June 2008 "U.S. News and World Report" article 2.
- As you age, it becomes harder for your skin to produce vitamin D. This vitamin from the sun might protect you against many health conditions, including an overactive immune system, heart disease, osteoporosis, and prostate, breast and colon cancers, Kotz notes.
What Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies Cause Anxiety?
You don’t get calcium from the sun, but your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium, according to the National Institutes of Health 34. If you don’t have enough vitamin D, you cannot form enough of the hormone called calcitriol. Without enough of this hormone, you’ll have insufficient calcium absorption from your diet. When this occurs, your body has to take calcium from its stores in your skeleton. That weakens your bones and prevents formation of new, strong bone, say the experts at NIH. You also need calcium for your blood to clot and for your muscles, heart and nerves to function properly.
- You don’t get calcium from the sun, but your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium, according to the National Institutes of Health 3.
You might need the vitamin D the sun provides to best use magnesium. Magnesium and vitamin D might interact within your immune system, though both also independently affect numerous aspects of this system, say H. McCoy and M.A. Kenney in a study published in the journal "Magnesium Research." Sites for possible interaction within this system include regulating your cell cycle, cell transformation, stabilization of nuclear DNA/chromatin, and effects on enzymatic and hormonal actions. The two nutrients interact in other bodily systems, the authors note, and these interactions sometimes involve calcium.
- You might need the vitamin D the sun provides to best use magnesium.
- Magnesium and vitamin D might interact within your immune system, though both also independently affect numerous aspects of this system, say H. McCoy and M.A.
- Kenney in a study published in the journal "Magnesium Research."
What Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies Cause Anxiety?
Calcium Ascorbate Side Effects
Should Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium & Vitamin D Be Taken Together?
Nutritional Needs for the Skeletal System
Three Functions of Calcium Ions in the Blood
Vitamin C & Estrogen Level
Role of Calcium in the Skeletal System
What Makes Your Skin Absorb Vitamin D From the Sun?
Benefits of Carrot and Celery Juice
Vitamin D and Hormonal Imbalances
- Magnesium Research: Interactions Between Magnesium and Vitamin D: Possible Implications in the Immune System
- U.S. News and World Report: Time in the Sun—How Much is Needed for Vitamin D
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin D
- National Institutes of Health: Calcium and Vitamin D
- Holick MF, Gordon CM. Patient Guide to Vitamin D Deficiency. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2011;96(7):1-2. doi:10.1210/jcem.96.7.zeg33a
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- Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Hollis BW, Rimm EB. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of myocardial infarction in men: a prospective study. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(11):1174-1180. doi:10.1001/archinte.168.11.1174
- Gorham ED, Garland CF, Garland FC, et al. Optimal vitamin D status for colorectal cancer prevention: a quantitative meta analysis. Am J Prev Med. 2007;32(3):210-216. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2006.11.004
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- Salehpour A, Hosseinpanah F, Shidfar F, et al. A 12-week double-blind randomized clinical trial of vitamin D₃ supplementation on body fat mass in healthy overweight and obese women. Nutr J. 2012;11:78. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-78
- Carrillo AE, Flynn MG, Pinkston C, et al. Impact of vitamin D supplementation during a resistance training intervention on body composition, muscle function, and glucose tolerance in overweight and obese adults. Clin Nutr. 2013;32(3):375-381. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2012.08.014
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- Bouillon R, Van Schoor NM, Gielen E, et al. Optimal vitamin D status: a critical analysis on the basis of evidence-based medicine. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013;98(8):E1283-E1304. doi:10.1210/jc.2013-1195
- American Academy of Dermatology. Position Statement of Vitamin D. 2010.
- Taksler GB, Cutler DM, Giovannucci E, Keating NL. Vitamin D deficiency in minority populations. Public Health Nutr. 2015;18(3):379-391. doi:10.1017/S1368980014000457
- Holick MF, Binkley NC, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, et al. Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011;96(7):1911-1930. doi:10.1210/jc.2011-0385
- Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC, et al. Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 2006; 134:1129-40.
- Carrillo AE1, Flynn MG, Pinkston C, Markofski MM, Jiang Y, Donkin SS, Teegarden D. Impact of Vitamin D Supplementation During a Resistance Training Intervention on Body Composition, Muscle Function, and Glucose Tolerance in Overweight and Obese Adults. Clin Nutr. 2013 Jun;32(3):375-81. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2012.08.014. Epub 2012 Aug 31.
- Ginde AA, Mansbach JM, Camargo CA, Jr. Association Between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Level and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 2009; 169:384-90.
- Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Hollis BW, Rimm EB. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Men: a Prospective Study. Arch Intern Med. 2008; 168:1174-80.
- Gorham ED, Garland CF, Garland FC, Grant WB, Mohr SB, Lipkin M, Newmark HL, Giovannucci E, Wei M, Holick MF. Optimal Vitamin D Status for Colorectal Cancer Prevention: a Quantitative Meta-analysis. Am J Prev Med. 2007 Mar;32(3):210-6.
- Heaney, Robert P. “The Vitamin D Requirement in Health and Disease.” The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 97 (2005):13-9.
- Holick MF. Vitamin D. In: Shils M, Olson J, Shike M, Ross AC, ed. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1999.
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin D: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet. University of Ottawa Evidence-based Practice Center. Effectiveness and Safety of Vitamin D in Relation to Bone Health. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Aug 2007: 07-E013.
- Salehpour A1, Hosseinpanah F, Shidfar F, Vafa M, Razaghi M, Dehghani S, Hoshiarrad A, Gohari M. A 12-week Double-blind Randomized Clinical Trial of Vitamin D₃ Supplementation on Body Fat Mass in Healthy Overweight and Obese Women. Nutr J. 2012 Sep 22;11:78. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-78.
- Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida H. Randomized Trial of Vitamin D Supplementation to Prevent Seasonal Influenza A in Schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 91:1255-60. Epub 2010 Mar 10.
- Wilkins, Consuelo H. and Yvette I. Sheline, et al. “Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated with Low Mood and Worse Cognitive Performance in Older Adults.” American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 14 (2006): 1032-40.
Linda Tarr Kent is a reporter and editor with more than 20 years experience at Gannett Company Inc., The McClatchy Company, Sound Publishing Inc., Mach Publishing, MomFit The Movement and other companies. Her area of expertise is health and fitness. She is a Bosu fitness and stand-up paddle surfing instructor. Kent holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Washington State University.