India being a tropical country with plenty of sun all year long, more than 70 %
of the population is afflicted with vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. So
what exactly is this vitamin and how does it impact our health?
term “vitamin D” refers to compounds vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) or vitamin D2
(ergocalciferol). There are two main ways to get vitamin D - one is by exposure
to sunlight and the other by way of supplements as foods cannot provide enough
amounts of vitamin D that the body needs. Vitamin D3 is produced in the skin on
exposure to sunlight. The sun rays themselves do not contain vitamin D; the
skin that is penetrated by specific ultraviolet rays - ultraviolet B, works to
synthesize the sun’s energy into vitamin D. When UVB rays hit your skin, a
chemical reaction happens which forces the body to convert a prohormone in the
skin into vitamin D.
Much Time Is Needed In The Sun?
exposure time depends on various factors like skin colour, time of exposure and
weather conditions. Typically, light skinned people need far less time in the
sun than dark skinned ones. For fair skinned people, it could be as less as ten
minutes and for dark skinned, it could be even 45 minutes to an hour. The best
time to be in the sun for vitamin D production is between 10 a.m and 2 p.m.