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vitamin DAre you living in an area that is a mismatch to your skin pigmentation? Hundreds of years ago, a person only traveled a few kilometers at a time. Today, we can travel across 90 degrees of latitude in a single day and this is contributing to a lack of Vitamin D (Mismatch between sun exposure in modern life and skin pigmentation, 2013).   Vitamin D is manufactured in only one place – the skin.  The body has to manufacture Vitamin D, but it needs to already have it in the body in order to manufacture it. Vitamin D has to be constantly replenished because there are no reserves in the body.

As we become more global, people are living in areas where they are not getting sufficient amounts of Vitamin D. On top of this, people live in cities instead of rural areas. Technology is great, but it too has not helped.  People not getting outside as much as they should because they are on the computer, iPad, Kindle, SmartPhone or some technological device.  Less than 1% of Vitamin D that is taken orally ever reaches the skin tissue and a deficiency can lead to rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, wrinkling of the skin (Hilling, 2013).

We need exposure to sunlight every day to get a sufficient supply of Vitamin D.  Sitting in a sunny window will not produce Vitamin D, nor do cloudy days or sitting in the shade. This is also more problematic for darker skin tones.  Yes, we do need sun exposure, but use common sense and wear protective clothing.

A deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to:

It is easy to get Vitamin D by getting outside for 15-20 minutes daily or taking supplements orally. We can also get it nutritionally by adding fresh fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, dairy products (milk and yogurt), poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts to our diet (Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D, 2011).

To read more on this topic, click on the following links:

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D. (2011, June 24). Retrieved February 22, 2013, from Office of Dietary SupplementsNational Institutes of Health: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/#h3

Mismatch between sun exposure in modern life and skin pigmentation. (2013, February 19). Retrieved February 22, 2013, from Medical News Today: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/256492.php

Hilling, C. (2013, March). Skin, Inc. “Vitamin D: Why it’s important in your skin care business”, pp. 62-66.