Did you know that Vitamin D not only supports our overall health, but can influence how rapidly we age?
With the sunny autumn we’ve been enjoying in Vancouver, I got to thinking about the benefits of vitamin D as it relates to aging. As a certified skin therapist with a focus on helping my clients approach their skin health holistically, I thought this was an important topic to cover. So if exposing your skin to the sun is a guilty pleasure you’ve been avoiding admitting to your skin therapist, this post will show you that when done in moderation, this guilty pleasure is not so bad for you after all.
How vitamin D can delay aging.
One of the most significant ways in which Vitamin D regulates the aging process is through slowing the shortening of our telomeres.
Telomeres are caps found on the ends of chromosomes. Put simply, their function is to protect our DNA from damage and deterioration, and ensure the DNA is being copied properly when cells divide. The length of these telomeres has been shown to correlate closely with our biological age. Essentially, the shorter the telomeres, the older you are biologically.
So if vitamin D can extend the life and length of our telomeres, how do you safely enjoy the anti-aging benefits?
Ask your GP to test your vitamin D levels and consult your naturopath or certified nutritionist about a supplement. There is also research to support exposing your skin midday for 14 minutes, three times a week can help maintain healthy vitamin D levels.
I know you’re thinking – is this sacrilege? – as unprotected sun exposure is responsible for skin cancer and most of the visible signs of aging. In my opinion, we have to look at it from a cost-benefit perspective. Such short, consciously undertaken intervals of sun exposure are hardly something to avoid when you consider the many health benefits.
Do you already take a vitamin D supplement? Let me know if you’ve found it to be helpful.