Ultraviolet light for more Vitamin D
Useful or dangerous for our health?
Which are the ways except by exposing to the sun, can procure the daily dose of vitamin D? Enough safe and effective alternatives are there?
Most of you are aware of the importance of procuring the necessary doses of vitamin D, combining it with other vitamins and minerals to maintain optimal health and prevent various diseases. It may be obtained from dietary sources as well as food supplements and products with rich content of nutritions. But the most natural and practical way to obtain it is by using solar energy.
Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin following a series of metabolic reactions upon contact of the body with the sun. It was obtained as a product in a photochemical reaction of a compound called 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC). Middle phase of the conversion, however, is the preparation of the compound pre-D3 (precursor vitamin D3), together with 2 intermediate metabolite (lumisterol and tahisterol). You can go to the direct effects of UVB rays from sunlight.
Depending on the ambient temperature, pre-D3 is converted or not into Vitamin D3. This needs a temperature of about 37 ° C, since at a temperature of 0 degrees can not be formed D3 to proceed the reaction. Extended stay under the sun could lead to the formation of toxic amounts of vitamin D due to the further disintegration of the molecule and pre-D3 to other safe compounds. The intensity of the solar radiation is important for the synthesis of the vitamin, and the presence of melanin pigment in the skin.
Sun or Technology?
In this time of technological progress are constantly trying to create new methods to extract this important vitamin, different from the traditional. There is one which is already very popular by getting it after using specific equipment and conductors wiring UV – like solariums, ultraviolet lamps, quartz lamps, etc.
By generating rays of UVA and UVB type artificially synthesized Vitamin D and achieved positive cosmetic effects. They would be worthy substitutes for a sunlight in this aspect, if not associated with dangerous side effects.
Overexposure to the sunlight, especially during the summer season is associated with an increased risk of developing skin cancer (melanoma). To the same output, however, can be reached after uncontrollable visits to the solarium. Solariums emit mainly UVA rays and a small percentage (5%) UVB rays. The intensity of the issuance of UVA rays can be 10-15 times higher compared to the amount of solar radiation received by exposure to the sun at midday.
In people with sensitive skin such a radiation can cause various symptoms – redness, burning, nausea, dryness, photosensitivity. More epidemiological studies suggest a link between these manipulations and the carcinogenesis.
International medical organizations and institutions (notably the U.S.) strongly recommend avoiding solariums. They not only do appear to be dangerous but also they not sufficient for the artificial synthesis of vitamin D, but whose formation is needed by UVB radiation type, and they are deficient in the artificial heating.
Other types of lamps, which are used in light treatment, also could not be a suitable alternative to the sun, as they can cause a variety of skin reactions. These are some fluorescent tubes, emission diodes, lasers, etc.
Interesting U.S. study shows that lovers of sunbeds may become addicted to them.
Implications and Alternatives
Optimal variant is to use direct natural sunlight for a short period of time (during the summer). All these facts lead to the conclusion that the healthiest and safest way to get vitamin D is through direct exposure to sunlight, but this should also be moderate and controlled, especially during the summer months.
Synthetic alternatives can be not only dangerous but also they are not very effective. The accompanying supplementation with Vitamin D are considered to be an adequate alternative with lower risks in comparison with the UV lamps.