I've been getting some sunshine lately, enjoying those vitamin D making rays, but I've been curious if there's any way to make more vitamin D from the same amount of sun exposure.
One possibility that occurred to me is the availability of vitamin D's precursor, 7-dehydrocholesterol (not cholesterol itself as is often stated) might have an effect. I don't know if increasing 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin would allow for greater vitamin D production, but it makes sense that it might. Because 7-dehydrocholesterol is the last product of the cholesterol synthesis (mevelonate) pathway before cholesterol, it's production is likely lowered the more cholesterol we consume (through a well established ability to induce feedback inhibition). This is the same reason people like Chris Masterjohn have suggested statins (mevelonate inhibitors) might decrease the efficiency of vitamin D synthesis. If we can make 7-DHC from cholesterol itself this doesn't matter, but I haven't seen much to suggest this reverse reaction is very significant.
So could eating a lot of dietary cholesterol lower the rate of vitamin D synthesis by lowering 7-dehydrocholesterol? What else might effect the availability of 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin? And does 7-DHC in the skin even have a significant effect on vitamin D synthesis?
Moreover, what can be done to maximize vitamin D synthesis when out in the sunshine?
It's a lot of questions, sorry! Thanks in advance for any answers.
asked byMscott (12682)
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on July 23, 2013
at 10:27 PM
Interesting question! I suspect that protein may play a role from reading this article:
And here's a blog post I wrote on the general topic of optimizing sun exposure:
on July 23, 2013
at 09:43 PM
I don't see it. Cholesterol is a scam in part because most of it comes naturally from your on liver. Any increase from food is going to be marginal. The only thing that helps is to be out in mid day. You are not making any vitamin if you are sunbathing at 6pm, the rays are absorbed by the much greater travel through the atmosphere.