The Sun is shining here at the Jersey Shore and it’s a great day to grab some natural Vitamin D! According to the Vitamin D Council:
Your body is designed to get the vitamin D it needs by producing it when your bare skin is exposed to sunlight. The part of the sun’s rays that is important is ultraviolet B (UVB). This is the most natural way to get vitamin D.
Large amounts of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) are made in your skin when you expose all of your body to summer sun. This happens very quickly; around half the time it takes for your skin to begin to burn. This could be just 15 minutes for a very fair-skinned person, yet a couple of hours or more for a dark-skinned person.
You don’t need to tan or to burn your skin in order to get the vitamin D you need. Exposing your skin for a short time will make all the vitamin D your body can produce in one day. In fact, your body can produce 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin D in just a little under the time it takes for your skin to begin to burn. You make the most vitamin D when you expose a large area of your skin, such as your back, rather than a small area such as your face or arms.
There are a number of factors that affect how much vitamin D your body produces when your skin is exposed to sunlight. These include the time of year and time of day, where you live in the world and the type of skin you have.
The amount of vitamin D you get from exposing your bare skin to the sun depends on:
The time of day – your skin produces more vitamin D if you expose it during the middle of the day.
Where you live – the closer to the equator you live, the easier it is for you to produce vitamin D from sunlight all year round.
The color of your skin – pale skins make vitamin D more quickly than darker skins.
The amount of skin you expose – the more skin your expose the more vitamin D your body will produce.
The time of year and time of day
When the sun’s rays enter the Earth’s atmosphere at too much of an angle, the atmosphere blocks the UVB part of the rays, so your skin can’t produce vitamin D. This happens during the early and later parts of the day and during most of the day during the winter season.
The closer to midday you expose your skin, the better this angle and the more vitamin D is produced. A good rule of thumb is if your shadow is longer than you are tall, you’re not making much vitamin D. In winter, you’ll notice that your shadow is longer than you for most of the day, while in summer, your shadow is much shorter for a good part of the middle of the day.