Don't Wash Away That Vitamin D!
Summer is here (it feels like its been here a lot longer here in Missouri...its been hot here for a few months now) and with that comes all the great sun exposure for Vitamin D.
We fill our days with outdoor activities...hiking, gardening, walking, canoeing or floating down the river, hanging out at the lake...and we start to get a little sweaty...so we head to the shower to freshen up...
Hopping in that shower and washing off with soap is also washing off that oil soluble Vitamin D...the same Vitamin D your body just worked to produce.
Researchers are finding that our sebum contains the Vitamin D that our body produces and that it can take up to 48 hours for our body to absorb. That sebum (or oil/waxy skin covering) washes away with soap.
In fact, a study done in 1937 pulled that sebum off healthy male subjects and exposed rats with rickets to it. They found that is cured the disease (rickets is an extreme Vitamin D deficiency).
So, what can we do to keep that wonderful Vitamin D rich sebum?
1) Take less showers
In today's society we take too many showers to begin with, which can disrupt skin flora. If you want to keep more of that Vitamin D, shower less.
2) Take cooler showers
Since warm/hot water can rinse off the sebum easier than cool showers (try rinsing oil off a plate with cool water)....lower the temperature of your shower to a refreshing cool. Trust me, I am not a fan of cool showers but the Vitamin D is more important to me.
3) Take shorter showers
The longer you are in the shower, the more sebum is going to have a chance to rinse off. Hit the hot spots, groin and underarms, and call it good. I know that washing your hair can take longer...so skip washing your hair every time. You hair might go crazy for a bit, but so long as you are washing with an organic soap, it will balance back out again.
Additionally, it is now known that you need UVB rays to produce Vitamin D so that means get OUTSIDE. Windows block UVB but can still allow UVA rays...without both, thats when the risk of melanoma is higher. Of course, sunscreens are a topic in and of themselves so I won't cover that here (if you are curious, we don't use them but I appreciate that others prefer to use them)