Sunlight as a Source of Vitamin for Our Body

    Benefits of the Sun on our health

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    We aim to provide the stories, information, and opinion that will make you knowlegeable on Costa Rica.

    Vitamin D is a complex molecule with countless actions in multiple organs of our body, which explains the appearance of many diseases when there is a deficiency of this vitamin. Many of us associate vitamin D with bones, but the truth is that this molecule acts in innumerable biological processes such as the expression of our genes, the health of our heart and even has an influence on our mood, since its deficit is related to depression.

    There is no doubt how relevant this substance is in our body. But when you hear this vitamin name you surely think of the grandmother or aunt who consumes it to keep her bones strong avoiding osteoporosis, but this time I want to tell you something that will change your perception of the Sun.

    A free therapy

    Taking the sun is completely free, and more if you are in Costa Rica. It is possible that this detail leads us to underestimate its high value for our lives and our health. Not only plants can take advantage of the ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun to carry out biological processes such as photosynthesis, because we can also take advantage of it, I’ll explain how.

    Vitamin D in our skin

    We sometimes are careless with our skin despite how much it does for us. In this case, I will talk about the production of vitamin D from the skin. Before vitamin D appears in its active form, known as vitamin D3 (1,25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol), the transformation process must first occur in our skin.

    When in our skin a molecule called 7-Dehydrocholesterol comes in contact with ultraviolet radiation it will transform into Colecalciferol, then this molecule will travel to our liver to undergo a second transformation process, becoming 25-Hydroxycalciferol, finally the latter will travel to our kidneys, a couple of organs that are in the abdominal region, known to filter blood and manufacture urine.

    Once in the kidney it will undergo the last transformation to become vitamin D3 or 1,25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol to now fulfill all its key functions that guarantee the proper functioning of our body.

    The key to this trip is that without that first process of transformation by exposure to UV light it would not be possible to achieve this result. Now you know how valuable the exposure of our skin to the sun is.

    Excess is harmful

    We already know how important the sun is in our lives, however, any excess can be harmful, so I do not want to finish without first recommending you the use of sunscreen when exposing oneself and suggesting that the best hours to have contact with sunlight are: the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before the end of sunset, as we will find its mildest incidence, capable of guaranteeing the production of this hormone without cause damage to our skin. Now go ahead and enjoy the sun.
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    1. Please do not promote sunscreen use, whether by chemical sunscreens or metallic sunscreens. Seek shade or cover up otherwise when you have had enough sun exposure. We need regular, non-burning sun exposure now more than ever. In addition, there are many other good reasons not to use sunscreens: Two major studies showed that sunscreens might be worthless or even harmful. The first, a meta-analysis, showed no protective effect of sunscreens against skin cancer. The second showed that people who used sunscreens had up to six times the number of sunburns compared to those that did not use them. This research also demonstrated that those who covered up, or sought shade when they had enough sun, were far less apt to sunburn than those who used sunscreens. In addition, in the last four decades, sunscreen use has increased by 400%, while melanoma incidence has also increased by 400%. Think about it before recommending sunscreens. For more information and references: In addition, read Dr. Marc Sorenson’s book, Embrace the Sun.

    2. Thank you for your note, it is a useful comment which each reader can contrast with additional information and can come to a conclusion that best suits them, based on their unique experience, for example in my particular case I totally agree with you, but I know of serious medical professionals who state otherwise, specially when recommending to people with unique circumstances.

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