Barriers to Successful Vitamin D Synthesis

It is well known that vitamin D has positive effects on many systems of the body. However, recent studies show that absorbing vitamin D from the sun through the skin is more challenging than previously thought. Age, pigmentation of the skin, wearing sunscreen and sun avoidance habits can all be barriers to successful vitamin D synthesis. Therefore, a more reliable source of vitamin D is Cloud Vitamin Cream’s Vitamin D cream. Applying Cloud’s Vitamin D cream to the skin on a daily basis ensures consistent, healthy amounts of vitamin D for the body.

Vitamin D deficiency can occur even in climates where there is ample sunlight. An article titled “Vitamin D Status and Sun Exposure in Southeast Asia” reported that, “In India, located between 8 degrees N – 38 degrees N, there is plenty of sunshine all year round and thus people in India should not have and inadequate vitamin D status. On the contrary, epidemiologic studies from different part of India reported higher than 70% prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in all age groups, including toddlers, school children, pregnant women and their neonates and adult males.” The article went on to assert that, “The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was similar in both lower and upper socioeconomic strata.” This report is surprising, because a common assumption is that adequate sunlight is all that is needed for proper vitamin D absorption. 

This phenomenon was not only found in India, but also in other warm locations. An article titled, “Vitamin D in Cutaneous Carcinogenesis:  Part 1” reported that, “One study found that more than half of adults living in Hawaii with an average sun exposure of 30 hours per week still had insufficient serum 25 (OH) D levels. Other studies conducted in Arizona, Florida, and Chilean populations have all observed that vitamin D deficiency is still noticeable, with darker skinned individuals and those with lower amounts of sun exposure at particular risk.” There are a variety of reasons residents of sunny locations might have a vitamin D deficiency, despite ample sunny weather. The article, “Vitamin D Status and Sun Exposure in Southeast Asia”, indicated that, “Sun-seeking behavior is uncommon in these populations because the climate is frequently too hot. Thus, sun protective behaviors, including wearing a hat, applying sunscreen, using an umbrella, wearing long sleeves or staying in the shade, influence on vitamin D status in this sunshine area.” Therefore, sun avoidance can contribute to lower levels of vitamin D absorption.

Not only do many people avoid the sun because it is simply too hot out, they may also avoid the sun with the goal of reducing their risk of developing skin cancer. The article titled “Vitamin D in Cutaneous Carcinogenesis:   Part 1” reported that, “While the role of vitamin D in visceral cancers is under intensive research, the role of vitamin D in skin cancer is even more controversial. This is because the same spectrum of ultraviolet (UV) light necessary for vitamin D synthesis (290 – 320 nm) is also the more important environmental risk factor for the development of many skin cancer types.” This statistic is compelling evidence that it is much safer to use a vitamin D source not obtained from sun exposure. Cloud’s Vitamin D cream offers all the benefits of vitamin D without the risks.

Sunscreen is commonly worn to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays. However, wearing sunscreen can also impact the absorption of vitamin D. The article, “Vitamin D Status and Sun Exposure in Southeast Asia”, stated that, “When a sunscreen with an SPF of 8 was properly applied to the skin, vitamin D3 production was reduced by more than 90%.” By no means should anyone stop wearing sunscreen! Sunscreen is an important part of skin health. However, this statistic alone makes it clear that there is a need for alternative options to obtain vitamin D.

Natural skin pigmentation can also affect vitamin D absorption. A recent study discussed in an article titled “Vitamin D in Cutaneous Carcinogenesis:  Part 1” asserted that, “African Americans and those with darker skin types have greater difficulty synthesizing vitamin D from sunlight, because increased melanin in the epidermis absorbs much of the UVB radiation needed for vitamin D production.”
In addition to people of color having difficult with vitamin D synthesis, the elderly have challenges, as well, though for different reasons. The same study indicated that, “Average skin thickness (both dermal and epidermal) decreases with age. As a result, cutaneous vitamin D synthesis decreases because of smaller store of precursor 7-dehydroxycholesterol. The elderly may be at additional risk of deficiency because of decreased mobility and consequently decreased sun exposure.”

It is clear that vitamin D offers the body many health benefits. However, there are a variety of barriers that can impede the proper absorption of vitamin D. Age, skin pigmentation, application of sunscreen and sun avoidance behaviors can all impact the body’s ability to synthesize vitamin D from sun exposure. A great alternative to sunshine is Cloud’s Vitamin D cream. Applied topically to the skin daily, Cloud’s Vitamin D cream is a safe and effective option to provide the body with the vitamin D it needs to maintain optimum health.

Articles cited:

“Vitamin D:  Beyond Bone” by Sylvia Christakos, Martin Hewison, David G. Gardner, Carol L. Wagner, Igor N. Sergeev, Erica Rutten, Anastassios G. Pittas, Ricardo Boland, Luigi Ferrucci, and Daniel D. Bikle
“Vitamin D Status and Sun Exposure in Southeast Asia” by Hataikarn Nimitphong and Michael F. Holick
“Vitamin D in Cutaneous Carcinogenesis:  Part 1” by Jean Y. Tang MD, PhD, Teresa Fu, MD, Christopher Lau, BA, Dennis H. Oh, MD, PhD, Daniel D. Bikle, MD, PhD, and Maryam M. Asgari, MD, MPH

August 26, 2014 by Cathy Mohr
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