Health Info  Nutrient Glossary  Vitamin D

Adequate vitamin D intake is important for the regulation of calcium absorption and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Although the body has the ability to make vitamin D, there are many reasons that people may still suffer from deficiency. Darker skin pigments and sunscreen use can significantly decrease the body's ability to absorb the ultraviolet radiation B (UVB) rays required to produce vitamin D. A sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 30 can reduce the body's ability to synthesize the vitamin by 95%. The skin also has to be directly exposed to the sunlight, not covered by clothing, in order to start vitamin D production. It is estimated that sensible sun exposure on bare skin for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times per week allows the body to produce sufficient vitamin D, but vitamin D has a half-life of only two weeks, meaning that stores can run low, especially in winter.

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