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How Much Sun Is Needed For Vitamin D

Updated on May 2, 2013

All living beings on the earth need sunlight to thrive. This includes plants, animals, aquatic life & yes, humans. A huge problem that is being greatly over-seen is the lack of Vitamin D in the average American's body. In the US alone, the percentages range from 40-85% depending on age. So how in the world are so many people deficient!? Lack of sunlight, sunscreen & poor dieting.

The Importance of Sunlight

Not many people know this, which I believe is at fault to the media & medical world, but the best way to receive the right amount of vitamin D is through direct sunlight. Food alone is not enough. When the skin is exposed to direct sunlight, the body produces vitamin D in a matter of minutes. It doesn't take much to receive the right amounts but you have to go about it the right way. When your body isn't making enough Vitamin D, it is not able to absorb Calcium. When the body cannot absorb Calcium it can not supply protein to the bones & organs. Vitamin D deficiency is now being linked to Obesity, Diabetes, Cancers, Osteoporosis & other bone & muscle diseases. Yet... We are told the sun is bad?

Sunscreen is NOT the Answer

We are told that the sun causes cancer & we need to either stay out of it or put globs of sunscreen on our skin to protect us. Do you know what sunscreen does? First, it is filled with synthetic parabens & chemicals, that when are heated, cause cells to deform & mutate underneath the skin which increases your risk of SKIN CANCER. It also blocks the bodies ability to make vitamin D by a whopping 95-99%! If you are a person who burns easy in the sun, I recommend using organic/natural aloe vera on your skin before & after being in sunlight & also using coconut oil as it is a natural skin protector. If you have to use sunblock, stick to paraben free & organic brands ONLY!

They don't call it "sunscreen" & "sunblock" for no reason.

Our Diets...

Its no surprise many people are becoming sick. Have you looked at what is in your food!? I wont get into that, but a huge reason people do not get any Vitamin D from their diets has to do with the fact that not many people eat fish anymore. You will not be able to supply your body with enough vitamin D through diet, but adding fish, such as salmon, can help! Some nuts, fruits & vegetable (when eaten RAW!) have small amounts of vitamin D but again, not enough for what the body needs.

Time Frames Per Week

  • Fair Skin : 70 to 140 min.
  • Olive/Red Skin : 140 to 280 min.
  • Dark skin : 420 to 560 min.

*If you tan, as your skin becomes darker, be sure to add an addition 5 minutes a day, or 25 minutes a week!

So How Much Sun Do I Need!?

To keep it simple to understand... The lighter your skin tone, the less you need, the darker your skin tone, the more you need. For fair skin, you only need about 10 to 20 minutes of direct sunlight a day to produce enough vitamin D in your body. So about 70 to 140 minutes a week. For olive/red toned skin, you need about 20 to 40 minutes a day, which is roughly 140 to 280 minutes a week. For dark skin you will need about 60 to 80 minutes a day, which is 420 to 560 minutes a week.

  • The darker your skin is, the harder it is for sun to penetrate the skin walls which is why more sun is needed. If you tan, you will want to gradually increase your sun light 5 minutes a day. You do not need to be out in the sun everyday, though I recommend fair skinned people not to do this, but you can soak up sun a few days a week by laying out in the sun for an hour a day or do activities in the sun to equal the necessary amount.
  • The skin you do expose is also important. You want to at least have your neck & face, your full arms & your lower legs exposed. Men & women who burn typically burn on their chest, back, stomach & shoulders so if you have those areas exposed for more then 20 minutes, keep an eye on them.
  • Water & clouds increase the rays strength so if you burn easy, avoid going to the beach on a cloudy day or bring an umbrella & only be in direct sun for 10 to 20 minutes at a time.
  • If you don't burn easy & are looking to develop a nice tan, then use virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Do NOT use tanning oils or baby oil as both have chemicals that cook in the suns heat. An hour a day of direct sunlight is enough to notice a nice tan in about a weeks time.
  • You are most likely to burn between the hours of 10AM & 3PM so if you have fair skin, soak up your sun before 10AM or after 3PM. For tanning, the best hours of the day are 7AM till 12PM.

Listen To Your Body

Your body will let you know when you had enough sun. If your skin starts to become red, go in the shade. Your skin may become itchy, which is another sign you might be starting to burn. Make sure you drink water while outside in the sun as well as it protects the skin against burning & keeps your from dehydrating. Avoid sunscreen when you are soaking up sunlight to produce vitamin D. I would avoid it all together or only use organic paraben free sunscreen products. Coconut oil is always a great option for a natural sun protector but if you burn very easily, you may want to look into chemical free sunscreen when you will be out in the sun for prolonged periods of time. I grew up playing in the summer sun & my pool all summer long & hardly ever used sunscreen. I am not over-aged, I only burned 2 times & there were plenty of days when I would be in the sun from sun up till sun down.


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    • ii3rittles profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thanks for the comment Chuck! Yup, if you look at the ingredient list on any sun screen you will see all kinds of man made garbage in it.

    • Chuck Bluestein profile image

      Chuck Bluestein 

      6 years ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

      The top paid model in the world, Gisele Bundchen, does not use sunscreen. She even calls it poison. It is all chemicals and most are untested. Also the people making sunscreen now made billions selling sun tan lotions that are no longer sold.

    • ii3rittles profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thanks for your comment whonunuwho! :)

    • whonunuwho profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      The medical professuion states that we need about 15 minutes of direct sun exposure every day. The consumption of milk and other dairy products is not enough. We get Vitamin D from these because it is absorbed from the sun and eaten by cattle, then produced in natural bodily processes, harvested, and treated, to be bottled and shipped to us all to drink. Vitamin D strongly affects development and maintenance of bones and teeth in children and adults. It is vital for all bodily functions and as always, each vitamin we get, is shared and beneficial for the others. Thanks for this question. whonu


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