Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 - The sunshine hormone
The BLU ROOM uses medical UVB radiation, which is electromagnetic radiation in wavelengths between 280 and 315 nm invisible to the human eye. Only about 6% of the total radiation of the sun that reaches the earth is invisible UV radiation (UVA, UVB, and UVC radiation). Of this UV radiation, about 5% is UVB radiation, of which only 10% reaches the earth's surface, as it is largely absorbed by the atmosphere. This means that only about 0.03% of the total radiation is UVB radiation, which can reach humans.

Why is this so important? Because UVB radiation is necessary so our body can produce the important vitamin D3 in the skin.

For a long time, nobody paid much attention to vitamin D3. It was assumed that it was only responsible for bone health. And yes, it is true. Without vitamin D3 our body would not be able to absorb calcium, which is essential for strong and healthy bones. If vitamin D3 is missing, children may develop a bone disease due to disturbed mineralization, so-called rickets. A corresponding condition in adults is called osteomalacia.

Among the vitamins, vitamin D3 holds a special position because it is not a vitamin at all, but a hormone that can be produced by our body itself. Only a very small part of our need is covered by our food. In fact, it is difficult to cover more than 10-20% of our daily vitamin D3 requirements with our meals, as it is only found in small amounts in food. These, however, are foods that are not suitable for consumption in large quantities, such as fatty fish such as eel or mackerel, cod liver oil, eggs, avocado or mushrooms. After all, who wants to consume the 50 eggs a day that one would have to eat to cover 1000 units of vitamin D3, the amount recommended as a daily dose by the German Nutrition Society (DGE)? It is good that our body can produce 80-90 % of our vitamin D3 requirement itself. All it needs is sunlight. Under the influence of UVB radiation, pre-vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is produced in the upper skin layers from a precursor of vitamin D3, pro-vitamin D3 (7-dehydrocholesterol), which subsequently reacts to vitamin D3. This is bound to proteins and transported to the liver, where it is transformed into a further intermediate, calcidiol. This precursor is stored in the blood and liver and, if necessary, converted into the active form of vitamin D3, the hormone calcitriol. Calcidiol is also the standard marker used in blood tests to determine vitamin D3 levels. An adult should have a vitamin D3 level of more than 30 ng/ml or more than 80 nmol/l. Do not be confused by the different values. These are different units of the same reading, the 25-(OH)-D. This stands for 25-Hydroxycholecalciferol, the chemical name of calcidiol.

Now you may be wondering why the active form of vitamin D3, calcitriol, is not measured? There are several reasons for this. Firstly, calcitriol has a very short biological half-life of 4-6 hours and is only present in the blood in very small, difficult to detect amounts. On the other hand, it says nothing about the stored amount of vitamin D3. But it is precisely this storage that is so important because in our latitudes it is almost impossible to guarantee a sufficient supply of vitamin D3 in the winter months. It used to be assumed that enough vitamin D3 was produced even when the sky was cloudy, but that is not the case. In fact, about 15-20% of the entire skin surface, which corresponds to the face, neck, décolleté and parts of the arms and legs, would have to be exposed to direct sunlight for about 15 to 20 minutes a day. But even then the UVB intensity in the northern latitudes (above the 42nd northern latitude = north of Rome) is often not sufficient to produce enough vitamin D3. This is due to the flat angle of the sunlight during the winter months so that not enough UVB reaches the earth's surface. The sun is high enough in the sky when the shadow you cast is shorter than you are tall, which is only the case in the months from April to October between 10:00 a.m. and 4 p.m.

So it is not only not surprising that in Germany the vitamin D3 level fluctuates seasonally strongly, with maximum values in the months August and September and low values in February and March, but also not that dieticians assume that in our latitudes 70 to 80 percent of the population show a vitamin D3 deficiency. The DGE also states that 91% of all women and 82% of all men are at least temporarily undersupplied with vitamin D3 throughout the year. Often it is simply not possible to find the time to sunbathe for 15 minutes every day in the summer months. Especially since it has to be considered that any sun protection strongly limits the UVB absorption into the skin. Everything above SPF 15 blocks up to 95% of the incoming UV radiation, which effectively prevents vitamin D3 production. And who wants to sunbathe in summer without sun protection?

But why is the lack of vitamin D3 so problematic at all? After all your bones are fine? Vitamin D3 plays a key role in your health. As mentioned above, vitamin D3 is not a vitamin at all. It is a hormone and as such is involved in numerous metabolic processes. Among other things, it has a direct or indirect influence on more than 3,000 genes and thus on the function of cells and organs. Recently, vitamin D3 receptors have been found in almost every organ in the human body, so that it can be assumed that all organ systems are in some way dependent on a sufficient supply of vitamin D3. Therefore, it is not surprising that a deficiency is accompanied by sometimes serious health problems.

Vitamin D3 deficiency has many faces: fatigue and mood swings, dry skin, joint pain, a weak immune system, increased sweating. Signs of a vitamin D3 deficiency are therefore often manifold and difficult to identify. Currently, numerous studies have proven that vitamin D3 plays a role in the development of numerous diseases of civilization, be they overweight and high blood pressure, diabetes, diseases of the cardiovascular system, the thyroid gland, allergies, chronic inflammations, up to numerous forms of cancer, Alzheimer's and dementia.

A good supply of vitamin D3 is also of great importance in old age, precisely because it plays such an important role in bone health. Osteoporosis, for example, which is caused by bone demineralization, especially the loss of calcium, can be promoted by a vitamin D3 deficiency. Vitamin D3 ensures that the calcium contained in food can only be made available to the body in the first place. This means that a lack of vitamin D3 leads to a lack of calcium, which the body tries to compensate by dissolving the calcium out of the bones. Brittle bones are the result and falls easily lead to broken bones, which then heal only with difficulty and slowly. Many elderly people are also unaware that the ability to synthesize vitamin D3 through the skin itself is severely diminishing with age. For example, elderly people are often undersupplied with vitamin D3 despite sufficient outdoor exposure.

The effect of vitamin D3 in our bodies is far from being fully understood, but it is becoming increasingly clear that our health depends to a large extent on a sufficiently high level of vitamin D3. If you take your health into your own responsibility and precaution as a preventive measure, you can step into the future in a healthy way.

In a BLU ROOM® session, the room is flooded with high-dose UVB radiation from 9 medical UVB lamps. The mirror coating reflects the radiation in many ways and focuses it on the user. Thus the body can create very large quantities of self-produced vitamin D3 in a short time, a real 'boost' of up to 10,000 units in 3 minutes. The vitamin D3 stores can thus be replenished with maximum efficiency, regardless of the time of day or season.