How To Safely Get Enough Vitamin D From The Sun

The sun is the most natural and efficient way to get enough vitamin D, according to Dr. Eric Lewis, a naturopathic physician in Asheville, NC. In fact, the body was designed to get vitamin D this way. It’s a process that happens when the sun’s energy turns a chemical in the body into vitamin D3 (technically a hormone). It then travels to the liver where it picks up oxygen and hydrogen molecules to become 25-hydroxyvitamin D and finally it travels to the kidneys where it picks up more oxygen and hydrogen molecules to become 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D, the form of vitamin D that the body needs to function properly.

The darker your skin, the more time it takes for your body to make enough vitamin D. But on average you need ten to 15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen. It also depends on how far south that you live and the time of year. According to Dr. Lewis, the best piece of advice is to get outside without sunscreen everyday. If you’re going to spend more than 15 minutes in the sun, especially during peak summer hours between 10 am and 4 pm, use some safe sunscreen protection as well as a wide-brimmed hat.