Vitamin D and Aging

Vitamin D and AgingDid you know that roughly 2000 to 3000 of the genes in our body are either dependent on or effected by vitamin D? As far as aging goes, it’s an important fact to know. The health of our genes is directly related to how aggressively (or how “well” we age). Every cell in our bodies needs healthy genes in order to replace cells as they die or become damaged. Genes, in turn, need vitamin D to function at optimum levels.

The best source for Vitamin D in your life, is, surprisingly, not milk or vitamin-fortified foods. Unlike nearly all other essential nutrients, the body is capable of absorbing vitamin D from the environment under the right conditions. Exposure to sunlight is still the best possible source of vitamin D. Now, that doesn't mean you have to run out in the sun without sun protection. As great as vitamin D is for your skin overexposure can be equally harmful. Melanin is the bodies natural protector from the sun, as the sun sets in your skin the body recruits the melanin for protection. So the fairer the skin the less melanin is available. When you tan in the sun the extra melanin production that gives you that golden tan can also produce irregular coloring or over pigmentation if stressed by over exposure. This causes the dilation of the small blood vessels that in turn leave your skin with a speckled red appearance, aka the dreaded sun burn. So hence the reason why the fairer you are the less time you have before you begin to burn. A sunburn has the same damage as any other burn such as sticking your finger in a flame or getting splashed with hot grease while cooking. It can actually affect you on the cellular level and damage your DNA.

So keeping that in mind when getting your vitamin D, donning a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses or even standing in the shade doesn’t prevent the body from absorbing vitamin D. In fact, there’s so much reflected light outdoors that you’d be surprised how much sunlight you’re exposed to without ever being directly under the rays. Asphalt, concrete, glass, water, sand, light colored buildings or walls... all of these surfaces reflect sunlight, so you don’t have to put your skin at risk to get one of the most vital anti-aging nutrients out there.

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