The Exact Process of How Your Body Produces Vitamin D
That girl should really take off her hat and sweater. She would get more vitamin D. Maybe she’s sunburned and covering it up…
I’m Austin White and thank you for visiting NudeSpots today! In this article I want to go into more depth on something I touched on in a previous article and that is the exact process of how your body produces vitamin D from sun exposure.
Why do you need to know this? You really don’t…. but it’s interesting. Also, it’s nice to know this stuff if some pale-skinned smarty pants tries to tell you sunbathing is dangerous. And! As I personally find out more and more about how beneficial sunlight is to our health, the MORE I want to get outside in it. Maybe you’ll get a similar feeling.
The Exact Process of How Your Body PRODUCES Vitamin D, aka The Sunshine Hormone
Step 1 – It starts with the SUN
The fiery sun’s ultraviolet radiation travels over 90,000,000 miles to Earth.
There are three types of UV radiation – UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC gets blocked by Earth’s atmosphere, some of UVB gets through, and all of UVA gets in.
Step 2 -The sun’s radiation reaches Earth’s surface
The sunlight we experience here on Earth’s surface is mainly composed of UVA, but it’s UVB that we need for vitamin D. UVB is the stronger form of radiation that triggers the chemical reaction in our bodies resulting in vitamin D production. UVB is going to be found in it’s highest amounts in the afternoon around mid-day. Generally speaking, your best time for getting vitamin D-creating UVB-rich sunlight is going to be somewhere between 10am to 3pm. Whenever the sun where you live is the strongest is when it’s the best time to go sunbathe for vitamin D. Contrary to what many people believe, morning and late afternoon/evening sun is NOT the best or safest time to sunbathe. As I’ll explain further in upcoming articles, morning and evening sun is all UVA and little or no UVB. This kind of sun will NOT help you make vitamin D and, long-term, overexposure to UVA is unhealthy.
Many people think that UVB is actually the dangerous radiation to avoid because this is what causes sunburn. This is true, but UVA causes damage as well. Overexposure to UVB causes visible, detectable sunburn to your outer layers of skin, but overexposure to UVA causes invisible, undetectable damage to your inner layers of skin. The benefit of UVB is that the warning signs of overexposure appear very quickly and clearly, alerting you to stay out of the sun until you recover. The danger with UVA is that there are no early warning signs, leaving people much more vulnerable to overexposure.
A study in 2009 found that people who mostly experience UVA exposure and little UVB exposure have an increased risk for developing melanoma skin cancer. This study also found that, contrary to the vitamin D-producing effects of UVB, UVA actually destroys the vitamin D in your body.
UVA has also been found to be the culprit behind accelerated aging of skin in a 2014 study.
Morning and late afternoon sun has also tended to be popular because it provides a more burn-free, sexy, dark bronze tan. This is what most tanning beds are dialed-in to provide, but it’s NOT healthy! UVA overexposure, not midday UVB, is what has been found to contribute to melanoma skin cancer and photoaging of the skin and it actually destroys the vitamin D created from your exposure to UVB. So remember, provided that you don’t allow yourself to get burned, the more intense midday, UVB-rich sunlight is actually the healthy sun you want. You want to limit your exposure to morning sun, evening sun, and sunlight coming through glass
If you’re a little pink after being out in the sun, then you know you have made some vitamin D because the same exact solar radiation, UVB, that causes sunburn is what triggers vitamin D production in your body.
Another way to to know when the UVB is out is to look up an hourly UV index forecast for your area. Most weather forecast websites provide this information (I like this website). You need a UV index of at least 3 to make vitamin D. The higher the UV index, the more UVB there is, the faster you can make vitamin D in that sunlight, the faster you can get your dose of healthy sun exposure, and the less you have to endure damaging UVA.
So for the area in Central Florida I live in, the UV index will not reach 3 until about 10:00am and it will stay above 3 until about 5:00pm. The sunlight’s peak intensity will be from 1:00pm – 2:00pm at a high UV index around 11. So if I wanted to make some vitamin D in the shortest time possible today and endure the least UVA, I would sunbathe from 1-2pm, but I technically have the ability to make vitamin D anytime from 10:00am to 5:00pm where I live.
If you live up north then you’ll have a shorter UVB window to work with, if you live further south you’ll have a wider UVB window. Key West, Florida, today, has the same length UVB window, but the UV index peaks much higher with a much stronger UV index throughout the day.
If you just remember to NOT get sunburned, then sunbathing at the peak UV index is perfectly safe and will result in the fastest vitamin D production with the least exposure to damaging UVA light. Sunbathe around midday/early-afternoon for vitamin D, but anytime with a UV index of 3 or higher is also acceptable.
If you’re going to put sunscreen on, then do so AFTER you’ve had at least a little unprotected exposure first. Even SPF 8 sunscreen blocks 90+% of the UVB necessary for vitamin D synthesis in your skin. A better long-term solution would be to slowly develop a good base tan with small daily doses of sunbathing. This will result in an increase of melanin in your skin (natural sunscreen!), increase your sun/heat tolerance, reduce the risk of future sunburning, and will allow you to spend more total time in the sun… and make more vitamin D!
When it comes to healthy sunbathing, you want to pursue quality over quantity. One hour of peak-strength, afternoon UVB exposure (provided you’ve developed the sun tolerance) will yield superior results to several hours of morning sun.
Step 3 – The UVB Radiation Contacts Your Naked Skin
(The word “naked” here is important. The sunlight has to directly touch your skin. No clothing and no sunscreen if you want to make vitamin D!)
All of life on Earth depends on this continual supply of solar energy and the vast majority of animals, including humans, need it to create the steroid hormone in our bodies called vitamin D. Vitamin D influences over 2,000 of your genes – including virtually every cell, tissue, and organ in your body. In part, we are solar-powered creatures.
We evolved to make biological use of solar radiation and vitamin D pre-dates human beings. If the intensity of our sun’s radiation was just a little bit different over the course of Earth’s history, then we, and all other life forms on Earth, would have turned out a bit differently. Our bodies are designed to require a certain amount of vitamin D, derived from a certain amount of a certain intensity of sunlight.
(The fact that our bodies can create vitamin D actually makes vitamin D a hormone. Vitamin D is secosteroid hormone in the steroid hormone family with testosterone and estrogen.)
The next step in this “sunshine hormone” creation process occurs when strong, UVB-rich sunlight comes into contact with a hormone precursor contained in our skin called 7-dehyrdocholesterol. When the 7-dehyrdocholesterol gets irradiated by the UVB it turns into what is called PRE-vitamin D or 25-Vitamin D, the pre-hormone version of vitamin D.
So you go to a nude beach around mid-day, you take off your clothes, and immediately the afternoon sun gets to work converting the 7-dehyrdocholesterol in your skin into PRE-vitamin D. Our skin contains a magical substance that, when exposed to sunlight, turns into a health-boosting hormone. Pretty cool!
So again: your skin contains a hormone precursor (or pro-hormone) called 7-dehyrdocholesterol. When glorious UVB-rich sunlight shines on your naked skin it causes a chemical reaction in your skin where the 7-dehydrocholesterol transforms into 25-Vitamin D (or pre-vitamin D). This is the pre-hormone version of vitamin D awaiting to be activated by your body into it’s hormonally active state.
(I just want to reiterate: HOW COOL IS THAT?! Your SKIN has this invisible, magic stuff in it and when exposed to specific solar RADIATION…. you get a dose…. of a freaking steroid hormone that has been proven to increase muscular strength and cognitive function. It’s literally some Marvel Comics superhero science we have going on.)
STEP 4 – PRE-Vitamin D is turned into ACTIVATED Vitamin D
So UVB exposure turns the 7-dehydrocholesterol in your skin into pre-vitamin D. NOW, those pre-vitamin D (25-vitamin D) molecules are going to end up in your bloodstream and get transported throughout your body.
Almost every cell, tissue, and organ in your body contains what are called vitamin D receptors (VDRs) and when these pre-vitamin D molecules come into contact with VDRs and bind to them they ACTIVATE. They activate into….. hormonally active vitamin D! (aka 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol)
THIS is the version of vitamin D that does all the good stuff in your body. All those cells, tissues, and organs you have with all the vitamin D receptors? They all do their jobs better (or properly, rather) when activated vitamin D is helping them. Vitamin D molecules show up to the VDRs with INSTRUCTIONS – instructions on how to function properly.
Vitamin D affects over 2,000 genes in your body and without adequate amounts of vitamin D your body can’t actually function at 100%. It’s impossible. We humans are partly solar-powered and require, ideally, copious sunshine or, less ideally, sunshine supplements (special artificial bright light and supplement vitamin D). Your cells, tissues, and organs need those instructions that the vitamin D molecules show up to provide.
For example, without adequate vitamin D levels, your immune cells can become overly-sensitive and start failing to distinguish between harmful, foreign bacterium in your body and your own tissues. This is also known as an autoimmune disease. Your own immune system gets confused and starts attacking your own body. Even worse – because your immune system is busy attacking your own body it becomes less able to deal with REAL threats like viruses and bacteria. Type-1 diabetes (where the immune system attacks your pancreas) and multiple sclerosis (where your immune system attacks your central nervous system), by the way, do tend to be found more in regions of the world that are farther away from the equator. Places in the world that don’t get much UVB tend to have higher incidences of autoimmune disorders. Same goes for many internal cancers. The farther away you are from the equator, the higher your risk of developing an internal cancer or an autoimmune disorder. (See these studies on the correlation between latitude and disease for more on this.)
Even cancer cells have vitamin D receptors. For example, vitamin D can
1 – instruct cancer cells not to metastasize (spread to other parts of the body)
2 – instruct tumors to NOT create blood vessels to acquire nourishment from
3 – instruct cancer cells to COMMIT SUICIDE (a process called “apoptosis”)
Sign me up! I’ll take all of that.
Some other things those pre-vitamin D molecules do when they hit vitamin D receptors and become activated:
-they instruct your bones to absorb calcium (you actually can’t absorb calcium without vitamin D)
-vitamin D instructs your muscles on how to contract properly (vitamin D literally makes you stronger)
-vitamin D is vital in proper serotonin functioning, which is critical for your mood and mental health
-vitamin D improves leptin sensitivity. Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating after you’ve satisfied your caloric requirements (leptin makes you feel FULLLLL). If your leptin mechanism is malfunctioning then you’re going to overeat and get fat.
No cancer, stronger immune system, stronger muscles, stronger bones, perkier mood, better working brain, less body fat. Vitamin D does all of that and much more.
Remember, if this seems a little farfetched for a vitamin, vitamin D ain’t a vitamin. Your body produces vitamin D, which makes it a hormone and hormones are powerful.
Summing it all up
So… you go to a nude beach on a beautiful, sunny afternoon. You take your imprisoning clothes off. The UVB radiation hits your magical, superhero skin containing 7-dehydrocholesterol. The magical 7-dehydrocholesterol in your mystical superhero skin becomes irradiated and undergoes a chemical reaction where it is turned into pre-hormone vitamin D. Those pre-vitamin D molecules make their way into your bloodstream where they are carried to every cell, tissue, and organ in your body. They show up to the vitamin D receptors and deliver specific instructions on how to KICK ASS along with a Tony Robbins-esque motivational speech.
That’s what vitamin D does! It tells the many unique components and parts of your body precisely HOW to KICK ASS and do their jobs properly.
And it all starts with getting some sun on your bum. Or your balls. Or boobs. Whichever is more pale. It doesn’t really matter, just take your damn clothes off and get some sun.
Now you know how your body produces vitamin D.
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Until next time,
How do YOU feel when the sun hits your 7-dehydrocholesterol? Let us know in the comments!