How Sun Exposure Can Impact Your Bone Health

Did you know that the sun can impact your bone health?

It is no secret that moderate sun exposure is necessary for adequate vitamin D production. Most people are aware that vitamin D is an important nutrient, but not many people know why.

Vitamin D is important for hormonal health as well as immune system function. But these benefits are secondary to vitamin D's primary role of escorting calcium in to the bones.

Now new research is providing even more evidence for how important vitamin D can be for your bone health.

The Research

The Journal of Biological Chemistry published a paper that identified the genes responsible for regulating the kidney's ability to activate vitamin D.

This research may lead to more advanced treatment of diseases in which vitamin D plays a role.

Such diseases include immune system disorders and bone degeneration.


A critical element for building strong and healthy bones, vitamin D is obtained either from the diet or from exposing the skin to sunlight.

The form of vitamin D found in foods or produced by the skin in the sun is the inactive form and normally must be converted by the kidneys to calcitriol, the active form. This process is induced by the hormones in the body.

However, other parts of the body such as the skin cells and immune cells can also produce calcitriol.

When calcitriol is produced outside of the kidneys it is for the purpose of regulating minerals in the body. It turns out that this production of calcitriol is actually catalyzed by inflammation instead of hormones.

Separating the Pathways

Until recently, research into vitamin D has been stalled by the inability of researchers to separate the between these two pathways of vitamin d production.

Many biomedical researchers have a keen interest in non-kidney calcitriol production. This is because it is theorized to have a connection to a number of inflammatory diseases including arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Genetically Engineered Mice

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin recently utilized a technology called CRISPR/Cas engineering to breakthrough this limitation. Their lab has engineered mice with kidney-specific control of vitamin D activation.

"Through the creation of these mice, we can turn off endocrine regulation of [calcitriol] production exclusively in the kidney," according to Mark Meyer, lead research associate. "By doing so, we can focus further on the inflammatory regulation of [calcitriol]."

Importance for Bone Health

Although the end goal is to comprehend the role of calcitriol in inflammatory diseases, the research has found to be applicable to understanding the mechanisms behind bone disorders.

Some clinicians are already using this information to examine patients for mutations similar to those in the mice.

Personalized Treatment

"That [information] might be able to tell that particular clinician about which treatment course might be most appropriate for that individual," said Meyer.

Often, patients with skeletal disorders are recommended supplementation with vitamin D and calcium. However, if patients have this gene mutation involved in vitamin D regulation then these supplements may actually do more harm than good.

It seems that we may be entering a new era of truly personalized medicine.


The Sun is Not Enough

While it certainly is very important to get adequate sun exposure for healthy vitamin D production, it can actually be really hard to get all of your vitamin D from sun exposure alone.

This is why supplementation with key nutrients is so important for bone health.

Dr. Charles Price developed the Silical System formula specifically to provide the body with the most important vitamins and minerals for maintaining strong and healthy bones.

If you want to experience the benefits of better bone health, then pick up your Silical System today!



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