No. Well, it’s the same sun that was there yesterday. But the angle will be different. It depends on where on Earth you live. And what season it is. And what time of day it is. And the weather. The sun is never the same twice.
Sunlight helps us make vitamin D and cholesterol sulphate, two critical micronutrients that affect gene expression and mood, among countless other elements of wellness. To be more specific, the UVB rays of sunlight are responsible for this skin activation. UVA rays are the ones that can cause sunburns.
The angle of the sun relative to the horizon determines which UV rays pass through the ozone layer and reach us. UVB doesn’t penetrate Earth’s atmosphere when the sun is below approximately 50 degrees from the horizon. The rays bounce off the atmosphere.
This means there are specific days and times that sunlight actually lets us make D and sulphate. And no two days are the same. Clouds, pollution, anything else in the sky, as well as what we wear, can block UVB. Unlike UVA, which is the stuff that burns in excess, UVB is a bit gentler as far as radiation goes. It won’t penetrate as well and may not even touch parts of the Earth’s surface for extended periods.
For some of us, during parts of the year, naturally occurring (via the skin with the sun) vitamin D and cholesterol sulphate just will not happen. So it’s not as simple as taking walks every day during lunch break, if you work in an office. Unfortunately, it is not that simple.
But nothing is. With all things considered, the fact that sunlight touching our skin can make life enhancing nutrients is simple enough. We can be grateful for that amazing gift of wellness.
And in light of gratitude, we do the best we can with what we have. So, what to do when we don’t have access to UVB?
The simplest solution is oral vitamin D3 pills. As guidance, 1,000 IU for every 25 lb. body weight. So 4,000 IU for a 100 lb. person. The optimal blood test range is 50-70 ng/ml. I’ve tested for 53 ng/ml 25 OH D in the middle of winter, just taking 5000 IU of D3 on a less than daily basis.
I regularly take walks to the park and spend 30 minutes to an hour there in the sun, almost daily. But knowing of the limited UVB availability, I can figure that the sun time hasn’t always been spurring D production.
But you can see that I’ve still been able to maintain optimal levels by loosely supplementing. See Mercola’s article, linked below, for cancer and heart disease treatment levels of vitamin D.
The slightly more difficult solution is a tanning bed. UVB rays in a safe tanning salon could be the best alternative to actually being in the sun. Mercola says to look for a bed that doesn’t have a hum. This noise would indicate it’s powered by magnetic ballasts, which can cause cancer. So, silent tanning beds.
The best solution, of course, is get it from the true source. UVB from the sun at 50 degrees or more above the horizon. Home may not always be the place to do this.