A Serious Health Issue: Your Skin Pigmentation, Vitamin D, and the Latitude That You Live
A fascinating, but serious investigation into how our location that we live and our skin pigmentation affects our health
- Certified Nutrition Specialist
Author of the best-sellers -- The Fat Burning Kitchen & The Top 101 Foods that FIGHT Aging
I thought the video below was VERY interesting, and is explained in a way that's easy to understand. It's also one of the reasons for a MAJOR problem in the health of many people.
I know we've been discussing a lot about Vitamin D levels in your body lately and how vitally important that is to almost EVERY single aspect of your health, including your immune system, your ability to deter cancer and other diseases from developing, your ability to lose fat and build muscle, your bone strength, and so on.
This video shows the health problem we humans have created for ourselves because we have moved around the globe to areas of either higher UV radiation or lower UV radiation than what would have been ideal for our particular genetics. It talks about skin pigmentation and how each person can be vastly different in how their body deals with UV radiation for both good and bad, including Vitamin D production based on what latitude (distance from the equator) that you live.
This really is an information packed video, so please watch the whole thing. I really think you'll get a lot out this, and it shows a very sinister aspect of health that is not talked about often... how some people can have health problems based on their degree of skin pigmentation, where they live, and how they may actually be sun deficient.
I hope you got a lot out of that video. Here are a few comments...
1. I think you can see the main issue as it relates to your ancestry and what part of the world that your particular genetics have you adapted to thrive best. For example, let's say that you have very light skin pigmentation, and your heritage is from a far northern latitude such as Sweden, Russia, Finland, or Ireland. This means that based on your genetics, you weren't meant to live too close to the equator and get excessive UV radiation exposure. If you moved to Hawaii for example, you may experience skin problems if you're out in the strong Hawaii sun too much or get burned too often. There's a balancing act here where this type of person would need small amounts of daily sunshine on their skin to produce enough Vitamin D, but not too much sun to get burned.
2. But let's look at the opposite scenerio, which is rarely talked about... The opposite scenerio would be a person with more darkly pigmented skin that has a heritage that originated from closer to the equator, such as Columbia, Thailand, or Central Africa as a few examples. If a person with this type of heritage and darkly pigmented skin moved to live in a latitude that is far away from the equator, such as the northern US, Canada, or northern Europe, this person could end up SEVERELY vitamin D deficient since their body is programmed to require much stronger sun exposure for optimal health. And THAT is a major health problem that could be brewing for a person with darkly pigmented skin living in high latitudes far from the equator.
As you can see, all of this information means that we need to understand as individuals how much sun exposure we really need based on our heritage and skin pigmentation. We need to get our Vitamin D levels tested in a blood test and see if we're dangerously deficient or if we're at adequate levels. Don't just assume that you're getting enough simply because you're getting 400IU per day from a multi-vitamin -- although 400IU is considered 100% daily value, it has been determined by many scientists to be drastically insufficient for most people. You can further see how miniscule 400IU per day of vitamin D is when scientists estimate that ancestral humans received approximately 10,000 to 20,000 IU per day of vitamin D from sun exposure.
I personally use this oil-based vitamin D3 supplement (which is made with olive oil as the base instead of unhealthy soybean oil that most D supps use) daily during the winter, and on days in the summer when I don't receive any sunshine.
I'd love to go on more with this, because this topic is so vitally important to your health. But I want to dedicate separate articles to exploring this topic even more. I'm working on those as we speak.
If you missed my previous articles on this topic, these articles below are MUST-reads:
1. The problem in our food supply that is causing you to be deficient in Vitamin D
2. Why following popular health "advice" to stay out of the sun could be making you sick
3. 7 tips to STOP getting sick (boost your immune system with these)