Vitamin D is an important nutrient that our body needs. This is provided by sunlight. We take sunlight for granted, but the beneficial powers of the sun’s rays cannot be overstated. Sunlight does not just provide us with light, but with a host of benefits that are equally important. Suffice to say, that a world without sunlight is not worth thinking about.
What is Vitamin D
Though it is called a vitamin, Vitamin D is not one at all. It is a steroid hormone that the body produces using the UVB rays from the sun. People recoil when they hear the term steroid because of its ugly associations. But this is not a harmful steroid. It is something that the body produces naturally and is good for the body. With people increasingly avoiding the sun and staying indoors, the amount of Vitamin D in the body goes down. Many factors affect the skin's ability to produce vitamin D. Some reasons that affect the production of Vitamin D are:
- The time of the year and the time of day
- The latitude of your region
- Cloud cover in your area
- The amount of sunscreen you use
- How covered your clothing is
- Your age
What are the risks that can arise with vitamin D deficiency?
The amount of Vitamin D an adult up to age 69 needs is 600 IU/day, and it is 800 IU/day for adults starting at age 70. Seniors need more vitamin D as their skin does not produce vitamin D efficiently. They also spend less time outdoors.
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to aches and pains in the bone and weakness of the muscles. There is an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and glucose intolerance. It can cause allergies and asthma. As they age people can be prone to cognitive impairment. Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of osteoporosis.
How much sun is enough?
Many people have an indoor job and work at office desks. They don’t have the time to go out during the day and so have minimum exposure to the sun. This may result in a Vitamin D deficiency. Our body needs small doses of sunlight to help produce Vitamin D. In places where there is sunlight all year through and there is enough sunlight being filtered into the house through windows, doors and daylighting systems, we will get enough sunlight even while we are indoors. But if it is winter, or in areas where there is heavy cloud cover that prevents the sun’s rays from penetrating into the home, you may need to ensure that you do some kind of outside activity, even if it’s just a short walk for some exposure to sunlight when it is available.
A great way to make sure that you get enough sunlight
Sunlight Concepts, a premier dealer for Solatube green products has a fantastic daylighting system that brings the sun indoors. Their daylighting system uses a reflector technology that enhances the amount of sunlight that is channeled in. Their tubing system is so flexible that it allows sunlight access to dark corners of the home. These systems ensure that your interior is lit up well and gives you enough exposure to the sun.
They have some great offers going on now for their daylighting systems. They have a Valentine’s offer that expires on 15th February. They are also selling their 2013 stock at manufacturer’s prices. You can buy DIY units or installed ones.
Check out the websites at http://www.sunlightconcepts.com/ and http://www.saveonpge.net/ for more information on this energy efficient company and the great products that they offer.