Vitamin D is sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight. That’s why getting enough sunlight is very important for maintaining optimal vitamin D levels. When we don’t get enough sunlight supplements are recommended.
Vitamin D has a role in many processes. It is essential to cell division, helps maintain healthy bones and teeth as well as ensures our muscles and immune system function properly. In addition, vitamin D helps to maintain the right level of calcium in the blood and contributes to normal utilisation of calcium and phosphorus.
Also known as retinol, vitamin A is important for our skin and overall health. Vitamin A supports the process of cell specialisation (for example, epidermis regeneration). Vitamin A can help keep skin healthy. If you do not supply your body with enough vitamin A, your skin may seem overly dry and rough. Natural moisturising of the skin is very important when we’re enjoying the sun as excessive tanning can dry out and irritate the skin.
Vitamin A also helps our body to metabolise iron. It supports our immune system to function properly and it’s crucial for good vision. Unfortunately, this vitamin is light-sensitive, so when exposed to high levels of sunlight, its reserves are quickly depleted. That’s why it’s worth considering taking a supplement.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant which helps to protect our cells from oxidative stress which can be caused by the UV in sunlight, amongst other things. Age and sun exposure may decrease our levels of this essential vitamin.
Remember to always use sun cream when you go sunbathing. The recommended time in the sun is 20 minutes a day before 8 am and after 5 pm to reduce the chance of sunburn.