With the spring season officially having started, our days are now longer and we naturally seek to spend more time outdoors. Modern conveniences (e.g., cars, planes, buildings), work and multiple commitments that demand our attention, however, frequently limit our ability to be outside to enjoy the sun’s radiance and warmth. In the past, our ancestors evolved in an environment vastly different from today’s world. Before the advent of agriculture, clothing and buildings, we spent the majority of our time outdoors fully exposed to the sun.
An important strategy to optimize your health then is to balance the added conveniences of our modern technologies and embrace our ancestral heritage by spending more time outdoors. Our bodies function at their best when our serum vitamin D levels are in an optimal range. This is particularly important considering that more than 70% of Americans are vitamin D deficient.
Vitamin D3 is really a prohormone that regulates the expression of over 2,000 genes in your body. Having insufficient levels of vitamin D increases your risk for several autoimmune conditions, diabetes, heart disease, various forms of cancer and depression1. Some studies have also linked prenatal vitamin D3 levels to schizophrenia.
Above and beyond the production of vitamin D3, the sun’s ultraviolet rays help to reset your body’s circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm regulates your sleep/wake cycle, appetite, satiety, concentration, attention and even influences your cravings for certain foods.2 Moreover, sunlight helps you to reduce body fat, improves your evening alertness, has pain reducing properties, promotes metabolic energy and may extend your life span. The ultra-violet radiation from the sun will additionally reduce your likelihood of experiencing an autoimmune disease and life threatening cancer.3
Regular sun exposure also helps your skin to produce sulfur: cholesterol sulfate, and vitamin D3 sulfate. Sulfur is a molecule that has an important role in the structure and biological activity of many proteins and enzymes, including your body’s detoxification pathways. Sulfur deficiency is associated with obesity, heart disease, and autism.4 In addition, sunlight increases nitric oxide production, which has several health benefits for your body and brain.
Sensible sun exposure is a simple practice that can enhance your vitamin D3 levels and reduce your risk of many health conditions. Spending 30-60 minutes outdoors with your arms or legs exposed and without sunscreen can help you to raise your vitamin D3 levels, sulfate levels and optimize your health.
To your health and success,
To learn more about how working with a psychologist and holistic health coach can help you to enhance your health and well-being, call or email Dr. Sandoval to schedule a free consultation.
- Holick, M.F. (2011). The Vitamin D Solution: A3-Step Strategy to Cure Our Most Common Health Problems
- Wiley, TS. & Formby, B. ( 2001). Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival.
- M. Nathaniel Mead (2008). “Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health” Environmental Health Perspectives, (2008) ;116(4): A160–A167. doi: 10.1289/ehp.116-a160.
- Seneff, S., Davidson, R. & Mascitelli, L. “Might cholesterol sulfate deficiency contribute to the development of autistic spectrum disorder?” Medical Hypotheses, (2012), 8, 213-217.
The information, published and/or made available through the www.drjosesandoval.com website, is not intended to replace the services of a physician, nor does it constitute a physician-patient relationship. This blog is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use the information in this post for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. You should consult a physician in all matters relating to your health, particularly in respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention. Any action on the reader’s part in response to the information provided in this blog is at the reader’s discretion.