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Vitamin D and sunshine


RedShift

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Posted
  • Location: Dunblane
  • Location: Dunblane

    Wrong time of the year I know but I came across this topic at a first-aid training course the other day. Since 1994 the UK government has adopted the Australian model of sun protection policy i.e. avoid direct exposure to sunshine between 11-00am and 3-00 pm, cover up and avoid tanning. Whilst the benefits of this policy should reduce skin cancer, does it ignore the benefits of vitamin D? This vitamin is obtained through some foods, but ~90% of it is obtained from sunlight.

    One third to a half of children in the UK has vitamin D deficiency, which can be linked to the increasing level of diseases such as diabetes type I and II, obesity and high blood pressure.

    ‘There is no such thing as a healthy tan’ says the government policy, but is there? Should (sensible) sun-bathing be promoted?

    Link here Sunlight robbery

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    Posted
  • Location: New York City
  • Location: New York City

    You are right in that sunscreen inhibits production, but I don't think thats the issue with regards to deficiency. I'm sure ten minutes in the sun twice a week without suncream is achieved by most people. On the other hand children who sit infront of computers and tv's all summer holidays...

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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Indeed, i agree with everything said here..

    I myself am only 18 and have always had a naturally darkish skintype (able to tan easily and hold one year round), however from being about 12 to 16, all i ever did was sit in front of the computer and coupled with a bad diet, i got very little vitamin D and almost completely lacked a complexion (pink tinge). However, since the summer of 2005 i have joined the tanning brigade and even started taking Vitamin D pills, subsequently, i now have quite a good complexion and skin tone, so i do believe those figures stating that many children simply do not get enougth vitamin D.

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    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral

    I go out in the sun whenever possible, my immune system is one of the best im convinced and I'm a generally happy person so I think the sun is probably the single most important factor in a person life. Without sun there would be no life on Earth, so its no wonder that the Ancient Egyptian Pharoah, Akhenaten, changed the Ancient Egyptian religion to just worship a sun god!

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    Posted
  • Location: New Zealand
  • Location: New Zealand

    whereupon the ancient egyptians promptly changed it back at the earliest possible opportunity and tried to erase all record of him from history. lol

    If you totally avoid the sun, recent research indicates you need about 4,000 units of vitamin D a day. Which means you can't get enough vitamin D from milk (unless you drink 40 glasses a day) or from a multivitamin (unless you take about 10 tablets a day), neither of which is recommended.

    Most of us make about 20,000 units of vitamin D after about 20 minutes of summer sun. This is about 100 times more vitamin D than the government says you need every day.

    The only way to be sure you have adequate levels of vitamin D in your blood is to regularly go into the sun, use a sun bed (avoiding sunburn), or have your physician administer a 25‑hydroxyvitamin D test. Optimal levels are around 50 ng/mL (125 nM/L).

    If you don't get vitamin D the way Mother Nature intended, from sunshine, you need to take supplemental vitamin D3 cholecalciferol. Since most of us get a lot more vitamin D from sunshine than we realize, most of us need about 2,000 units a day extra.

    http://www.vitamindcouncil.com/

    ...incidentally, I wasn't joking when I said that too much vitamin D was known as rat poison... that particular method of rats is illegal now though... the mineral was being absorbed through the skin of the pest controllers and giving them terrible kidney and gall stones... almost exactly the same thing it did to the rats, except that the rats couldn't get treatment for it, and so died.

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    Vitamin 'D' is the new vitaminn 'C'!

    I'd posted on here (but another thread) of the tests which linked vit. D deficiencies with Higher heart probs and cancer and normal vitD. levels meaning 80% less cold/flu.

    You have to remember we are all a creature who lived in Africa for the greater (at least 3/4 ) of our time as this 'species' so the 'cold weather modifications we have in the north are not a 'be all and end all'. We miss the sun and it's intensity.....if only we'd retained our melonin!

    The view now is the med. folk are healthier and live longer not purely through diet (though it is not being discounted) but mainly through exposure to reasonable amounts of sun!

    Let's not get into S.A.D. and the suicide rates in the northern countries (for those countries who aren't too ashamed to admit them that is and not cover as many up as possible as 'accidental deaths').

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    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral

    If only Vitamin C was as popular as Vitamin D (unintentionally aka sunbeds) though eh?

    You can imagine all those skimpy skirted girls in New York saying "We so need an apple, yeh, do I look good with this apple?" B)

    I agree G-W, I have border olive skin, and to an extent what you say shows some correlation with my ability to be immune from most things, however I can get burnt occassionally, but when the sun gets stronger in Springtime its the best feeling in the world it has to be said!

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    Posted
  • Location: New York City
  • Location: New York City

    I've got very pale skin and it rarely tans, unfortunately it burns after about 20 mins on a good summers day, and I even got burnt in March this year! Is there any link between skin tone and vit. D production?

    You're right Lady P, everything in moderation will do us no harm.

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    Without sun there would be no life on Earth,

    Sorry for going off topic and being pedantic, lol, but there are organisms that live permantently in total darkness deep on the ocean floor around hydrothermal vents, living off the chemicals (hydrogen sulphide) coming from these volcanic vents. Entire ecosystems have evolved around these vents, completely without any sunlight at all.

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    Posted
  • Location: St. Albans, Herts
  • Location: St. Albans, Herts
    "Everything in moderation."

    I think you're dead right there.

    I too had heard of the vitamin D definiciency thing, and had pondered on what to do about little Nellie. I've also always worried about some of the chemicals/micro-particles that go into a lot of the kiddies sun creams.

    My policy has so far been to cover her up and stay out of the very strong sun, but let her have a bit of a run around when it's less firey.

    Yet another thing for us parents to panic about.....

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    Posted
  • Location: South Yorkshire
  • Location: South Yorkshire

    Just get stocked up on 'Utterly Butterly'! Wonder why they add vitamin D to margarine? Is it something to do with improving the product,or is it the result of a government idea to introduce something to the diet which certain groups are at risk of being deficient,such as the addition of fluoride to water,folic acid to bread etc? Re the sun,I wonder how many sun worshippers are aware that they are toasting themselves under what is effectively a controlled hydrogen fusion bomb? I bet if you asked folk what the sun was they'd mostly go "um,er,it's a big ball of fire,innit"? As far as S.A.D. goes,I get that when the sun comes out. Don't like it,never have done. Wouldn't bother me in the least if it stayed overcast for the rest of my days. Am I unique??

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    Hiya Hiya!

    They reckon 20mins of 'bright sunshine on uncovered arms and face a day is plenty!

    I'm blonde and used to burn and blister at the thought of sun! Now, though just being 'outdoory' on a daily basis has me a bit 'Jack Sparrow' over the spring/summer months (Savey?).

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    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
    Sorry for going off topic and being pedantic, lol, but there are organisms that live permantently in total darkness deep on the ocean floor around hydrothermal vents, living off the chemicals (hydrogen sulphide) coming from these volcanic vents. Entire ecosystems have evolved around these vents, completely without any sunlight at all.

    I see what you're saying and its true, with regards to sunlight but they literally wouldnt survive where it not for the sun. External factors an' all that

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    I see what you're saying and its true, with regards to sunlight but they literally wouldnt survive where it not for the sun. External factors an' all that

    I think they could. Even if all the oceans were frozen solid due to no sun, the heat generated by the vents would create small areas of liquid around them. The life forms could then still surely survive even if the sun didn't exist and surface temperatures were -270c. It's a self-contained independent ecosystem. Astronomers believe there might be similar vents on Europa under its frozen ocean, possibly allowing life to exist there.

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    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
    I think they could. Even if all the oceans were frozen solid due to no sun, the heat generated by the vents would create small areas of liquid around them. The life forms could then still surely survive even if the sun didn't exist and surface temperatures were -270c. It's a self-contained independent ecosystem. Astronomers believe there might be similar vents on Europa under its frozen ocean, possibly allowing life to exist there.

    Its not all about temperature and light though - that I agree with? its about gravity and solar gases that sustain the life of this planet (and possibly others). Also to have vents means you have an endothermic source within the Earth, which in its embryonic stage would have originated from the sun. Having said that, the Earth is exactly the same source as the sun, however the Earth is small and so its outer crust has cooled and solidified, so you could argue that the Earth could sustain its own life, due to the Earth's core being more or less the same make-up as a star. That said still wouldnt have gravity, and the sun is the thing that provides us with our gravity.

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    Its not all about temperature and light though - that I agree with? its about gravity and solar gases that sustain the life of this planet (and possibly others). Also to have vents means you have an endothermic source within the Earth, which in its embryonic stage would have originated from the sun. Having said that, the Earth is exactly the same source as the sun, however the Earth is small and so its outer crust has cooled and solidified, so you could argue that the Earth could sustain its own life, due to the Earth's core being more or less the same make-up as a star. That said still wouldnt have gravity, and the sun is the thing that provides us with our gravity.

    The heat generated from within the Earth though is from the radioactive decay of various radioactive elements - these were put into the Earth at the very beginning of solar system, perhaps even before the sun ignited. They would have been here on Earth, sun or no sun most likely. The heat from the sun is generated from nuclear fusion, a different source to the radioactive decay on Earth. Not sure what you mean about us not having gravity without the sun. The gravity that pulls things down on Earth is generated by the mass of the Earth - nothing to do with the sun.

    Even more off topic now, hah.

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    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
    The heat generated from within the Earth though is from the radioactive decay of various radioactive elements - these were put into the Earth at the very beginning of solar system, perhaps even before the sun ignited. They would have been here on Earth, sun or no sun most likely. The heat from the sun is generated from nuclear fusion, a different source to the radioactive decay on Earth. Not sure what you mean about us not having gravity without the sun. The gravity that pulls things down on Earth is generated by the mass of the Earth - nothing to do with the sun.

    Even more off topic now, hah.

    So to conclude, without the sun there would still be life on Earth, well im still a litte sceptical but I wont knock it, because I have heard about the organisms that can live in complete darkness etc

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    Posted
  • Location: New York City
  • Location: New York City
    Its not all about temperature and light though - that I agree with? its about gravity and solar gases that sustain the life of this planet (and possibly others). Also to have vents means you have an endothermic source within the Earth, which in its embryonic stage would have originated from the sun. Having said that, the Earth is exactly the same source as the sun, however the Earth is small and so its outer crust has cooled and solidified, so you could argue that the Earth could sustain its own life, due to the Earth's core being more or less the same make-up as a star. That said still wouldnt have gravity, and the sun is the thing that provides us with our gravity.

    Thats not true!

    The heat generated from within the Earth though is from the radioactive decay of various radioactive elements - these were put into the Earth at the very beginning of solar system, perhaps even before the sun ignited. They would have been here on Earth, sun or no sun most likely. The heat from the sun is generated from nuclear fusion, a different source to the radioactive decay on Earth. Not sure what you mean about us not having gravity without the sun. The gravity that pulls things down on Earth is generated by the mass of the Earth - nothing to do with the sun.

    Even more off topic now, hah.

    But the Earth wouldn't have formed without the sun!

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    Thats not true!

    But the Earth wouldn't have formed without the sun!

    Not sure about that. The Sun and Earth both condensed out of a giant dust cloud. The Sun formed at a similar time to the Earth, and if we have the Earth, we would have the sun. There's no scenario where we could have the Earth and not the sun. But the Earth wasn't formed from the sun or needed the sun to form, it would have probably condensed out of the dust cloud sun or no sun.

    That sounds confusing.

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    • 2 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20080108/thl...-b2e59e8_2.html

    I knew I was right to spend so long in my hammock over summer!

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    Posted
  • Location: 4 miles north of Durham City
  • Location: 4 miles north of Durham City
    Not sure about that. The Sun and Earth both condensed out of a giant dust cloud. The Sun formed at a similar time to the Earth, and if we have the Earth, we would have the sun. There's no scenario where we could have the Earth and not the sun. But the Earth wasn't formed from the sun or needed the sun to form, it would have probably condensed out of the dust cloud sun or no sun.

    That sounds confusing.

    They didn't form out of 'dust' clouds...they formed out of superheated plasma that eventually collapsed and coalesced, with the materials solidifying into matter as they cooled. The earths core is near-solid, but given the temperatures in the centre of the sun...it remains gaseous.

    And with regards organisms living off volcanoes under the sea....well they would not be able to survive without the warm waters generated by the volcanic vents; as water is the very foundation of life as we know it. Still....I'm sure such a scenario could exist on Europa if volcanos did exist under the ice. However, without the sun there is no photosynthesis and that equates to nothing but very simple basic organisms and a harsh upper atmosphere.

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20080108/thl...-b2e59e8_2.html

    I knew I was right to spend so long in my hammock over summer!

    Yes I pretty much agree with that.

    We do get a 'feel good' factor from the sun...keeps us warm, helps revitialize our system.

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    Posted
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL

    I learnt only the other day that north of Birmingham this time of year, regardless of sunshine amounts, the wavelength of the light is insufficient to provide us with enough energy to do the Vitamin D thing. Which begs the question why does everyone in the south always moan? (Joke :( ).

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    They didn't form out of 'dust' clouds...they formed out of superheated plasma that eventually collapsed and coalesced, with the materials solidifying into matter as they cooled. The earths core is near-solid, but given the temperatures in the centre of the sun...it remains gaseous.

    And with regards organisms living off volcanoes under the sea....well they would not be able to survive without the warm waters generated by the volcanic vents; as water is the very foundation of life as we know it. Still....I'm sure such a scenario could exist on Europa if volcanos did exist under the ice. However, without the sun there is no photosynthesis and that equates to nothing but very simple basic organisms and a harsh upper atmosphere.

    The planets and sun formed from superheated plasma? Hmmmm.

    The hypothesis maintains that a planetary system begins as a large (typically ~10,000 AU in diameter), roughly spherical cloud of very cold interstellar gas, part of a larger molecular cloud. Such a nebula is just dense enough to begin contracting under the force of its own gravity, and its collapse may have been initiated by a pressure wave from a nearby event (such as a shock wave from a supernova) compressing the molecular cloud. -- Wikipedia

    Not superheated plasma but very cold gas and dust from the leftovers of a previous star. The Sun was formed when one clump of this gas became so large that it's gravity was strong enough to compress atoms at it's centre together, creating nuclear fusion.

    Some of the organisms around these volcanic vents, completely without photosynthesis, aren't simple organisms. There are coral like creatures, shrimp like creatures, crabs. I wouldn't call them simple organisms, like amoebas.

    As for vitamin D, I take multi-vitamins containing Vit D which should mean I'm ok. Also try to eat healthily generally and get good amounts of sun. Though I drink too much, lol.

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