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Spotlight on the sunshine vitamin and our skin

Spotlight on the sunshine vitamin and our skin
Article by: Amanda     |     Date: January 15 , 2018

We can get more of this vitamin in the hotter months and there are lots of functions in our skin that relate to it.

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because your body makes it when your skin is exposed to sunlight. The good news is sunshine is something we can get more of as the summer’s hotter months kick in – as long as we’re smart about our sun exposure!

If we have healthy vitamin D levels, we can boost things like the health of our bones and teeth, and help our body to absorb minerals. Vitamin D also plays a role in boosting our immune system. But did you know it’s actually a group of vitamins? The group includes D2, made when plants get sunlight, D3, which comes from different types of food and in our skin, and calcitriol, a bioactive hormonal form of vitamin D.

The skin is uniquely important in synthesising, storing and releasing vitamin D to circulate in our bloodstream.

As well as being a source of vitamin D in our body, there are also biological functions going on in our skin that relate to vitamin D. Specifically, skin may also help regulate the reproduction and changing of cells for functions like receiving chemical signals, which happens in the outermost layer of the skin. This layer is the barrier against water and germs. Also, the vitamin D receptor (a protein that receives chemical signals) may influence follicle recycling.

So how can you make sure you have healthy levels of vitamin D?

As well as the sun, some foods give you part of the vitamin D levels you need. Among them are: 

·         Oily fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, eel, and fish liver oils

·         Beef liver

·         Eggs

·         Some mushrooms

·         Cheese

·         Fortified dairy products and cereals (have vitamin D added)

·         Vitamin D supplements

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