The Sun is Shining and life feels much better at this time of year despite the ongoing pandemic. I thought I would share information from a lecture I did a few years ago on healthy summer practices so you can feel empowered to have a better summer. Let us start with reminding ourselves of the benefits of Sunshine. Sunshine acts as a natural analgesic (pain reliever). Sitting in the warm sun causes the release of endorphins which are feel good chemicals that we all need after a long winter spent indoors.
Sunshine exposes you to ultraviolet rays both UVA A rays and UVB rays. UVA rays are always present and can come through glass like a window. These rays damage skin and cause wrinkles. This is why selective sun exposure is important versus excessive. UVB rays are produced by the sun hitting your skin and are highest from 10 am to 2 pm. These rays are lowest in the morning and evening. UVB rays produce Vitamin D in your body.
Sunshine gives you Vitamin D which is often deficient in our northern latitude. Vitamin D is important for bone health. It is also a potent immunomodulator which is critical in managing autoimmune disease. Improving Vitamin D levels can also support and encourage anti-cancer protection. Vitamin D helps maintain proper cell growth. In fact, improving levels of Vitamin D may reduce your risk of cancer by 30 to 50%. Vitamin D if deficient can make you more at risk for having a heart attack. You can ask your doctor to check your Vitamin D to find out what your level is. I recommend checking Vitamin D 25(OH) once a year in the spring. I can order this but it does cost money. To maximize Vitamin D presently, I recommend exposing your body (arms, legs, abdomen and back) to the sun without sunscreen for 20 minutes, three days a week between 10 am and 2 pm. Protect your face with a wide brim hat. If you do this from April to September you will be getting enough Vitamin D. Be sure to check your levels with your Doctor though first. People that are very deficient may need to supplement Vitamin D3 in special cases. Apply sunscreen after your twenty minute exposure to protect your skin. Vitamin D toxicity is rare but the first sign is high calcium level in the blood. I am not going to talk about supplementation because it is very individual and you would need to talk to me about it in a consultation.
One thing I want to mention though if you are taking Vitamin D3 in a supplement, you need to also supplement Vitamin K2. K2 tells your body to put the calcium in your bones vs the blood vessels. If you are supplanting with Vitamin D, you should ensure you are also taking Vitamin K2. The recommended daily allowance of Vitamin K2 is 90 mcg/day. A comprehensive bone support would also have magnesium and other minerals such as boron. Book an appointment with me to talk further about bone health if you would like more specific information. Food sources of K2 include fermented foods such as natto, goose liver pate, gouda and brie cheese.
Protection from the Inside from Sun Exposure. Astaxanthin is sunscreen in a pill. It is a red carotenoid that has strong free radical scavenging activity. It is produced by the microalgae Haemotococcus pluvialus when it is exposed to the sun. This carotenoid protects the microalgae from excessive sun exposure so it protects us too. 2 mg is a typical starting dose for Astaxanthin. It can be dosed up to 4 weeks to protect your skin when you are getting regular sun exposure and want extra sun protection. Hope this is helpful for you. Book an appointment with me if you want to talk specifics. Thanks, Dr. Vinge 4032321283