Factors Influencing Vitamin D production
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Factors influencing Vitamin D production

Factors influencing vitamin D production. In general, and under appropriate conditions, exposure to the sun for a period ranging between 10-15 minutes is sufficient to obtain sufficient amounts of vitamin D, but it is difficult to achieve these appropriate conditions, as there are several factors that may affect the time the body needs, which vary from person to person, such as: skin color, area of skin exposed to sunlight, etc.

In a study published in the Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal in Al Ain region in the United Arab Emirates in 2011, it included eight Arab women of childbearing age who exposed their faces, arms and hands to the sun for 15 minutes a day twice a week for a period of 4 weeks , and they avoided any changes in their dietary intake of vitamin D, their vitamin D levels remained below the normal level. the result showed an increase in the level of this vitamin from 17.6 nanomols per liter to 23.0 nanomols per liter.

It can be said that most people can produce enough vitamin D when exposed to the sun daily, and for short periods when exposing arms, hands, or lower legs, without using sunscreen.But it is worth noting that sitting by a sunny window inside the house in order to get vitamin D is not useful; This is because the ultraviolet rays that the body needs to produce this vitamin cannot penetrate the glass. It is also worth noting that prolonged exposure to the sun is harmful.

Factors that affect the production of vitamin D in the body

Factors influencing Vitamin D production

The amount of vitamin D manufactured through the skin depends on many factors, the most important of which are the following:

  • Season and location of residence:

As people who live in regions far from the equator do not get their need for vitamin D from the sun, especially in the winter, they are advised to get the amounts they need from vitamin D by eating rich or fortified food sources, or by taking nutritional supplements.

  • Sun exposure time:

    For example, a 2013 study conducted in Riyadh by Dermato-Endocrinology showed that the best times for exposure to sunlight to get vitamin D during the summer in the city of Riyadh are from nine in the morning and before ten thirty in the morning, as well as after two in the evening until three in the evening.

    while during the winter the time is from ten in the morning until two in the evening.In other regions of the world, like Britain, for example, it has been observed that exposure to the sun for 13 minutes at noon during the summer is sufficient to obtain vitamin D, because the sun’s rays at this time are at their most intense

  • Thick clouds and atmospheric pollution:

The density of clouds and air pollution may affect the amount of ultraviolet rays reaching the earth, and thus the manufacture of vitamin D in the body.

  • The content of melanin pigment in the skin:

The color of the skin, eyes, and hair depends on the amount they contain of the brown or black melanin pigment. Darker skinned people need more sun exposure than people with lighter skin to get the vitamin D their bodies need.

  • The area of skin exposed to the sun:

the greater the area of the skin exposed to the sun, the greater the amount of vitamin D that the body makes, and therefore it is recommended to reveal a larger area of the skin when exposed to the sun.

  • Age:

The efficiency of vitamin D production decreases with age; Older people have a low level of a substance in the skin that converts to vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet rays.

The dangers of excessive exposure to the sun

Although sunlight is a good source of vitamin D, excessive exposure to it may result in dangerous consequences, such as:

  • Sunburn: This is the most common harmful effect of being exposed to the sun for too long.
  • Eye problems: Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays can damage the retina, which increases the risk of eye diseases, such as cataracts.
  • Skin aging: Exposure to the sun for a long time may cause the skin to age faster, increasing wrinkles and sagging skin.
  • Heatstroke: Heatstroke occurs when the body temperature rises as a result of exposure to sunlight or extreme heat.
  • Skin cancer: Excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays is a major cause of skin cancers.

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