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Published on February 18, 2022

While vitamin D supplements can partially make up for inadequate sun exposure, no supplement can replace all the benefits provided by sunshine

Key Points

  • The vitamin D level is often used as a measurement for sun exposure, and especially for those who don’t supplement with vitamin D, a vitamin D deficiency can also indicate “sunshine deficiency”
  • Sunlight contains different wavelengths of light, emitting multiple types of energy, including red, near infrared, far infrared, and blue light, each of which offers some unique health effects
  • Getting regular sun exposure can be beneficial to your health, but to avoid risks of overexposure to the sun, take care not to burn!

With Spring still a month away, most of those in the Northern Hemisphere are still in the deep of Winter and are likely experiencing “Sunshine Deficiency.” Not only are the UVB rays from the sun not available to produce vitamin D for many during this time, but the cold and wintery weather can keep us indoors, covered up, and avoiding any sunshine exposure.

Vitamin D is Only One of the Many Health Benefits of Sunshine Exposure

The vitamin D level is often used as a measurement for sun exposure, and especially for those who don’t supplement with vitamin D, a vitamin D deficiency can also indicate “sunshine deficiency.” It is important to remember, however, that sunshine has many health benefits beyond vitamin D production. Exposure to the sun helps the body produce other important chemicals and nutrients, such as nitric oxide and melatonin. Sunshine exposure also results in the production of serotonin and beta-endorphins, which promote mood enhancement and relaxation, relieve pain, and boost immunity. Proper sun exposure is a must, with the most important rule being “don’t burn!”

Supplements Do Not Replace Sunlight

Taking a vitamin D supplement cannot replace all the benefits of a lifestyle that incorporates regular sunshine exposure. For a quick and fun way to learn about those benefits, watch the video below, and make note of the summary below.

Here is a summary of the key points discussed in the video, with a few added details:

Sunlight contains different wavelengths of light, emitting multiple types of energy, including red, near infrared, far infrared, and blue light, each of which offers some unique health effects

Nitric oxide is released when the skin is exposed to the sun’s UVA rays; it is beneficial for heart health, helps relax the blood vessels, reduces blood pressure, plays a key role in immunity, cellular function, neurotransmission, and has antimicrobial and anticancer effects

UVB exposure is the body’s natural way to produce vitamin D; while it is possible to make enough vitamin D from sun exposure to reach the scientists’ recommended 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L), many don’t make enough vitamin D from sun exposure due to lifestyle, where we live, clothing, sunscreen, or other circumstances

Exposure to both UV and blue light helps to regulate the circadian rhythm and sleep cycle

Red light promotes wound healing and tissue repair, and builds collagen to reduce wrinkles

Sunlight exposure also results in the production of serotonin and beta-endorphins, which promote mood enhancement and relaxation, relieves pain, and boosts immunity

To avoid risks of overexposure to the sun, take care not to burn!

Indoor options, such as phototherapy units, sunbeds, and lightboxes, can be used when the sunshine is not an option

Balancing Sunshine Exposure and Supplements for Vitamin D Throughout the Seasons

As the seasons and your sun exposure change, you may need more or less vitamin D intake from supplements in order to maintain your desired vitamin D level. To help you determine how much, test your vitamin D level at least twice per year, and based on your level, calculate how much vitamin D supplementation may be needed, or if other lifestyle changes (such as sunshine or indoor UVB) could be implemented to help reach and maintain target levels year-round.

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D (and Sunshine) for Your Health Concerns?

Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D levels and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Choose which additional nutrients to measure, such as your omega-3s and essential minerals including magnesium and zinc, by creating your custom home test kit today. Take steps to improve the status of each of these measurements to benefit your overall health. You can also track your own intakes, symptoms and results to see what works best for YOU.

Enroll and test your levels today, learn what steps to take to improve your status of vitamin D (see below) and other nutrients and blood markers, and take action! By enrolling in the GrassrootsHealth projects, you are not only contributing valuable information to everyone, you are also gaining knowledge about how you could improve your own health through measuring and tracking your nutrient status, and educating yourself on how to improve it.

What Does it Take YOU to Get Your D to 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)?

Did you know your health could be greatly affected by making sure you have a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)? Help us help you.

STEP 1 - Do you know what your vitamin D level is? If not, be sure to test today to find out.

STEP 2 – Determine your target level. Are you at your target level? Experts recommend a level of at least 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).

STEP 3 – Need to boost your level? Use the D*calculator to see how much vitamin D it may take to reach your target. Opt for the Loading Dose for a quicker boost.

STEP 4 – Optimize how your body absorbs and utilizes vitamin D with co-nutrients and these simple steps.

STEP 5 – Re-Test! This is an important step to make sure you have reached your target level, and to ensure you are not taking too much! Re-testing after 3-4 months is recommended.

STEP 6 – Adjust, Repeat…

Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases, especially COVID-19.

NEWS ALERT

The first Randomized Controlled Trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 has shown a 96% lower risk of ICU admission for those receiving vitamin D (as 25(OH)D to quickly boost vitamin D blood levels) along with the standard treatment, compared to those receiving standard treatment alone.

These results support many previous observational studies showing a relationship between vitamin D levels and intake and COVID-19 severity.

Review the Latest Nutrient Research for COVID-19

GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has launched the new Immune Boost project with the use of our myData-myAnswers nutrient health system that nearly 15,000 people are already using for their health. Specific markers that influence immune health are suggested for testing as part of this project including:

  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3 Index
  • Essential elements magnesium, selenium, and zinc
  • hsCRP

Our goal is to demonstrate how one can use the Nutrient Research Model established by Dr. Robert Heaney to show the effect of vitamin D serum levels of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) on risk reduction for all ethnicities in the population. Status and intake of other nutrients will also be analyzed for any type of relationship to immune status and symptom severity. Join the project today!

Please let us know if you're interested in helping sponsor this project.

CLICK HERE for updates and new information about the project.

Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.

Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!

Click Here to Access the Test Page

How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?

To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called

For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details.  This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!