How Our Bodies Convert Sunlight Into Vitamin D

A lot of Parkinson’s disease patients have a vitamin D deficiency and recent studies have shown that this vitamin can benefit patients. Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin,” mostly because we can get it naturally when the sun’s UV rays interact with our skin, which triggers the vitamin’s synthesis. This very important vitamin aids our body’s absorption of calcium to keep our bones strong and encourage healthy cells to grow.

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Vitamin D can be found naturally in foods such as egg yolks, oily fish, and mushrooms. Some food products such as milk, orange juice, and breakfast cereals are fortified with it. However, the best source of vitamin D is the sun. This video from DNews explains how our skin converts sunlight into vitamin D–a process called dermal vitamin synthesis.

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Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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Marta graduated from Universidade Fernando Pessoa in Porto with a degree in Communication Sciences and a Masters degree in New Communication Technologies. She has experience in social media, worked with several media channels, and has also worked as a freelance photographer and a graphic artist for almost 10 years.

One comment

  1. Lionel Paulo says:

    Vitamin D is synthesized in our skin when exposed to sunlight so spending more time outdoors should increase our low levels of D right? That would be fine if we were ‘normal’ but it is not as simple as that for some Parky people.Of course, if I refer to only a handful of people I personally know then statistically it proves nothing – but for example read this: A Parky friend of mine was put on D3 supplements by his doctor when a blood test revealed sub-clinical levels of D3 (in the UK that level can be 30 nnm or 50nnm – depends who you ask!). After 3 months another blood test revealed levels had increased to a low normal reading, so his doctor cancelled the supplement and informed my friend to spend more time out in the sun. He is an outdoor type anyway and cycles and used to run Marathons.
    Getting to the point, after 3 months of Summer exposure and an average 3 hours daily outside he was tested again and his
    vitamin D blood level was LOWER THAN EVER! Back on the supplements and 2 months later his level was acceptable again but this time he stayed on the supplement. I have experienced the same so I use a Vit D3 supplement as well but combine it with a multi-vit/mineral that includes vitamin K1 and K2 plus calcium and magnesium. This little group of nutrients help to balance blood/bone calcium exchange helping to enhance bone and vascular health.
    SO,sunlight works well for normal people but for at least some (perhaps many?) Parky people it does not work.Why? Could be synthesis of D is very inefficient so levels generated are very low OR the ‘storage’ in the body does not store D properly or even hangs onto it and does not let it enter the bloodstream in adequate amounts? Supplements do work to raise blood levels so faulty synthesis in the skin seems more likely – any studies out there that have looked into this?
    I could tell you a few stories about other nutrients that also benefit from supplements – yes a balanced diet should be enough but when people have conditions that warp their bodily functions then supplements could be helpful (recent studies on vitamin B3 for example may be useful for some Parky people)but this is about D – any others out there that have had similar experience of low blood levels?
    All for now and keep well!

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