Vitamin D The Skin Vitamin
And how could it be called anything hut a skin vitamin? One of the few places you’ll find vitamin D is on your skin. Because a combination of sunshine and skin actually make vitamin D. So there! You see, your oil glands secrete a substance (ergosterol is its name) which is transformed right there on your skin into vitamin D by the magical action of sunlight. And then, that good little D is healthfully reabsorbed into your skin, which is why you feel so good after a day at the beach. (Assuming, of course, that you’ve been wise enough not to overdo it. Better to take your D in pill form than to risk irreversible damage to your skin by the ultraviolet rays of the sun.)
The reabsorption of vitamin D is one reason why seasoned sun-bathers say it’s no good showering immediately after you sunbathe unless you want to wash away all the benefits of the beautiful skin-vitamin D. And if you must wash, make the water cold. (Never cold on your face. Never.’) Where I come from near the sunny, Southern beaches the story goes that hot water makes the suntan go back in and not out there on your skin where you want it to show!
There are, of course, some foods that include vitamin D, but they are few. Check my chart not much, right? That’s exactly why it’s always called the “sun vitamin.” There is some vitamin D to be found in egg yolks, providing, as Adelle Davis picturesquely puts it, the hens sat in the sunshine (which they’re never allowed to do these days, need I remind you) and preened their feathers well. If, Miss Davis says, you ate 50 to 200 eggs a day well, you might get enough vitamin D by this method. Also, fish liver oils contain vitamin
D (remember that cod liver oil again the kind your mother used to force-feed you?). Still, be careful of this version if your skin tends to be oily. Caviar contains vitamin D, too, if you’re on a rich kick. And some is found in the magic mushroom. Well, not that kind it’s only magic-seeming, since mushrooms are grown in the dark. So how did the sun vitamin get in them?
The best way to get vitamin D is still to get plenty of healthy sunshine. Healthy, we said. Don’t overdo it! Alligator skin is not beautiful.
If you’re going to get the dosage most nutritionists feel is minimal (some 20,000 units per week) then you’d better opt for the pill the D pill but get vitamin D somehow, for D is essential for helping you assimilate the calcium you need for virtually every good part of you. (That’s why that good old sun is so relaxing. Calcium plus D the natural tranquilizer.) There was once a television commercial about that that showed a terribly loving couple on a sunny beach while the voiceover soothingly said, “Warm climates make warm people.” Calm ones, too, we might add.