The first thing that most people think of when 'Vitamin D' is mentioned to them would be an image of babies under the sun. This is perhaps the first encounter any of us will have with large doses of vitamin D, should your parents be knowledgeable enough to actually engage in the practice of putting babies under the sun. The fact is that the sun is jam-packed with vitamin D – its rays radiate with sunlight that keep us warm, provides us with light and allows vitamin D to be absorbed in our body. But of course, this does not mean we should immediately drop everything we are doing to run out in the open and bake under the sun. There are some interesting and important things to know about Vitamin D and the sun.

From Birth

Newborns require heavy amounts of vitamin d once they are welcomed to the world, because having vitamin D in the system will prevent jaundice in children (you know, that condition wherein the skin and the white part of the eyes turn a sickly yellow hue). Newborns ought to get their vitamin D from the sun, which is why there is the practice of going out in the sun in the morning. Now, there are some conditions to this.

First, the best time to bring the baby out to get drenched with the sun's rays would be in the early morning hours. This is the safest time for them to be out. The sun's rays have very low UV rays (which are bad for the skin) and there is less pollution since there are fewer cars in the early hours and less operating factories and offices churning out toxic air. One must avoid exposing the baby to the sun at high noon, where the sun's rays – though it may still carry the same amount of vitamin D – will do damage to the baby's skin and possibly even the eyes. The afternoon sun is also not as good since there is much pollution in the air.

The Growing Years

You have probably seen those women who cover themselves up and wear long sleeves when they know they will be exposed to the sunlight. Their efforts to protect themselves against skin cancer and ageing are commendable; however they also might be preventing themselves from getting vitamin D from the sun. There is actually a statistic which shows that the older you get, the less frequent your body processes vitamin D from the sun - in particular, four times less. This means, you still need to get your vitamin-D laden sunshine even if you are deathly afraid of getting premature wrinkles or skin cancer. It is simply a matter of choosing the right time to go out. The best times to go out and get your vitamin D (interesting to know is that the Danes commonly call it D Vitamin), aside from in the early hours of the morning, would be after lunch until about 2 o' clock pm and then later again around four pm. The hours before and after these produce the harshest sun rays, thereby increasing your chances of getting wrinkly skin and skin cancer. Outside of these, you are okay to bask in the sunlight.