All the while we were told to avoid sunlight and use sunblock whenever you're exposed to it.hmmm..let's sit back..relax.. and review new data on the importance of you're actually get enough sun exposure!
VITAMIN D BASICS
Technically, vitamin D is not a true vitamin. Since sun exposure can stimulate its synthesis in the body, it is not necessarily required in the diet, except in certain circumstances. Furthermore, its structure and mechanism of action more closely resemble those of a hormone than those of a vitamin.Vitamin D occurs in nature in two main forms: vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol, and vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol. While vitamin D2 is obtained from plant sources, vitamin D3 can either be obtained through animal sources or synthesized in the skin when its precursor molecule absorbs light energy from ultraviolet B rays. Vitamin D can refer to either D2 or D3. In the liver, both are converted into 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the primary circulating form of vitamin D. Conversion into its active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, occurs in the kidney
Vitamin D’s most crucial role is regulating calcium and phosphorus concentrations in the serum. Vitamin D assists with absorption of these two minerals in the small intestine. When dietary intake of calcium is below optimal levels, vitamin D3 along with parathyroid hormone will move calcium from storage in the bone into the serum, where the body as a whole can use it
VITAMIN D PREVENT MOST OTHER CANCERS
While sunscreen may help protect against the deadliest skin cancer—melanoma—its effect of limiting vitamin D production could lead to a greater incidence of other cancers. That does not mean that sunscreens should not be used, as they can significantly protect against premature skin aging (and skin cancers). What this does tell us, however, is that in one way or another, it is critical that we obtain optimal levels of vitamin D.
HOW MUCH WE NEED?
For those living in climates with greatly reduced angles of sunlight (the northern and southern parts of the globe) or where sunlight itself is rare, the need for supplementation is unchallenged.(Vitamin D supplement available in oral form). The human body is designed to obtain vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, with only brief exposure providing roughly 80-90% of the body’s vitamin D stores.Exposure of the entire body to sunlight may produce approximately 10,000 IU of vitamin D a day.Vitamin D supplement (oral form) is typically well tolerated in adults at doses up to 2000 IU daily, with some research indicating that even higher levels up to 10,000 IU daily may be used safely without adverse effects
STUDIES DONE ON THE BENEFIT OF VITAMIN D:
1-Combating Colorectal Cancer-Vitamin D intake > 1000 IU lower the risk by 50%
2-Protecting the Prostate-reduce risk of contracting prostate cancer and inhibit proliferation and spread of prostate cancer
3-Benefits for Breast Health-reduce the incidence of breast cancer
4-Improving Lung Cancer Survival
5-Preventing Multiple Sclerosis
6-Effects on Type I Diabetes-prevent the occurance
7-Lowering Gingivitis Risk
8-Promoting Bone Health
9-Alleviating Musculoskeletal Pain
10-Preventing Falls in the Elderly
further reading and reference here