How To Safely Balance Vitamin D & Sun Exposure
Posted on 22 August 2016
Vitamin D Deficiencies are more common than you think...
According a Deakin University study, about a third of Australians have a vitamin D deficient and nearly three quarters have levels considered by experts as below the “optimal for musculoskeletal health”.
But so is skin cancer...
At the same time, skin cancer is on the rise and 90%-99% of skin cancer is related to sun exposure.
So what's the answer when it comes to sun exposure safely?
Is it a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t? I don’t think so – I think it’s as simple as eating chocolate cake (ie sunshine in moderation).
Why is vitamin D important?
Vitamin D is super-duper important for women especially because it helps absorb calcium. Your diet along is not going to cut it – there is only so much fish and eggs a gal can eat. The main source of one’s vitamin D intake is from exposure to sunlight.
So, give me some safe sun guidelines I hear you say.
Well, it depends on your skin type, how much skin you are exposing, where you live and what time of the year it is! You could need 2 minutes twice a day (for a fair person with arms exposed during the summer months) or up to 3 hours a day (for a darker skinned person in winter months). For some more detailed guidelines, I’d trust the folks at Cancer Council Australia to help you decide what’s right for you.
The main thing to keep in mind is that because your body can only absorb a certain amount of vitamin D prolonged exposure to the sun is never a good idea, because:
- prolonged exposure will not increase your vitamin D levels; but
- prolonged exposure will lead to an increased risk of skin cancer and premature ageing.
Enjoy some sunshine safely!
So ladies, time to pack the sunnies, sunscreen, snacks, water bottles, sarongs, rash guards, buckets, spades, towels, hats, thongs and the million other things we are accustomed to packing in our handbags, beach bags and nappy bags, because it’s time to head outdoors and enjoy some sunshine safely!
p.s. if you’re worried about your vitamin D levels, best go check with your doctor. A simple blood test is all it takes.