I have been watching a lot of astronomy shows lately and have come to the realization of how wonderful our sun is. Without its perfect rotation and location there would be no life on earth. Its warmth and energy help nourish and foster all life on earth. As humans, it is our primary source of Vitamin D. As with all things great and wonderful, too little or too much can harm us. We need to balance our exposure and a little common sense goes a long way.
It has been beaten into our heads that the sun is bad for us. That is not really true. Sunburn is bad for us but not sun exposure. So we faithfully put on our sunscreen to prevent sunburn, but by doing that we decrease the very vitamin that we can not get enough of from our food-Vitamin D.
Why is vitamin D so important? Without it our bone health is at jeopardy. We can develop brittle bones call osteomalacia in adults or rickets in children. Our immune system needs vitamin D to fight off diseases. Low vitamin D is linked to high cholesterol,obesity,heart disease,erectile dysfunction and cancer. The farther away you live from the equator the lower you Vitamin D level will be.
The National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey 2005-2006 found a large percentage of Americans were deficient in their levels of Vitamin D even at low levels. 41% on average at 20 ng/ml. If you have darker pigmented skin the deficiency rate goes up, African Americans were the most deficient at 82% and Hispanics had a 69% deficiency. Why is this? It is due to the lower level of the suns absorbency in darker skin.
There are a few foods that have vitamin D in them but it would be almost impossible to consume enough to compensate for the lack of sun exposure. How many pounds of mushrooms or quarts of milk a day can you really consume? It has only been the last 100 years or so that we have gone from an agricultural society to an industrial society. We are hard wired to get our vitamin D from the sun. So what do we do?
If we have a light complexion we have to use sunscreen because we may burn. Sun burn can lead to skin damage and skin cancer. But we can’t get enough vitamin D. If we have a darker complexion our skin has a harder time absorbing the sun rays so our vitamin D level in lower.
We pretty much have to take a nutritional supplement.
Nicotinamide (B3) has also been shown to improve skin health. It is a form of niacin that DOES NOT cause flushing or other annoying side effects. It helps form two important coenzymes NAD and NADP. These are of vital importance for energy production, DNA repair and regulation of cell cycle. It may help with Diabetes and high cholesterol and sun damaged skin.
Curcumin is the active ingredient in the spice turmeric. It is poorly absorbed unless pepper is added to it. It helps with general anti-inflammatory health possibly easing the pain of arthritis and it also helps regulate the cell cycle. Regulating the cell cycle is very important with maintaining good general health and fighting off disease.
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