The Best Time of Day to Get Sun
Interview with Andreas Moritz
Interviewed by Raena Morgan
June 10, 2009
Raena Morgan: You say that sunlight is so good for our skin, but is there a time of day that we should avoid sun exposure?
Andreas Moritz: Yes. In fact, for many years I believe that staying out of the midday sun is-
RM: Ten to two?
AM: Yeah. Ten to two would be an advantage. But I came to that conclusion because I lived in a very, very hot country, Cyprus, where you would melt away if you were in the sun at that time, so you would want to avoid that heat stroke. But in the more moderate countries, it’s actually more beneficial to stay out during the midday period.
AM: Yes. There’s a new study that came out of England and they studied that part of Europe, and they found that you make the most Vitamin D during the hours between ten and two or three, and then in the morning hours and in the afternoon hours, later afternoon, you are not making any significant amount of Vitamin D. Now again that doesn’t apply to African countries or very hot countries where you still make a lot of Vitamin D at three o’clock or four o’clock in the afternoon-
RM: Because of the intensity of the sun?
AM: -because the intensity is so much more. So it depends on where you are. If you are in a northern state then I would definitely say get the sun exposure between ten and two or three.
RM: Okay. How about the ideal amount of time? Does it have to be twenty minutes or something like that?
AM: Yes. Twenty minutes is the- once you have a normal level of Vitamin D in the body, twenty minutes is sufficient to replenish it.
RM: Twenty minutes.
AM: Yes, and that’s for a white Caucasian person. For a black or African person, it’s about four times as much.
RM: They need four times as much?
AM: Three times, four times, it depends on how black the skin is. So there are some black people who have more fair skin than others. Same thing for Latin Americans and Indians or other Asian groups where they have olive type skin, and they require at least twice the exposure than white Caucasian. The more fair your skin is, the less you need; the more darker the skin is, the more sun exposure you need to make the right amount of Vitamin D.
RM: Okay. And how about the risk of not getting enough? I mean, is there a risk of not getting enough sunlight?
AM: There’s a huge risk of not getting enough simply by being indoors, which depletes your Vitamin D levels; simply by not getting enough UVB coming- you don’t get any UVB coming in in today’s windows. In the old days, people had houses with tiny windows,-
AM: -so they were forced to stay outside. If they wanted to see anything, they had to go out.
RM: Because they had small windows.
AM: Yeah. And the windows, they were not there except for sleeping really, and they’d spend a lot more time outside. And they were exposed to the elements, so they allow their skin to sweat, with our air condition we don’t have that, and they allow their skin to be cold. So to be cold, because that kept the immune system strong. Having to constantly adjust to the changes in the temperatures, whereas nowadays our immune systems are so lazy, they got the same temperature all year round.
RM: So differences in temperature stimulate the immune system?
AM: Yes. The immune system has to constantly adjust to the environment, to the changes in the environment, to cold, heat, humidity, moisture, dryness, everything, and the seasonal changes, so you have a different- the immune system is functioning very differently in the springtime than it is in the fall time and in a high summer period. So there are different parts of the body that change, even the blood pressure changes constantly. You have different blood pressure in the fall than you have in the springtime. So there are many changes that the immune system has to constantly adjust to, the environmental changes, the intensity of the light, which is different now in the middle of the summer than it is in January.
RM: And that stimulates the immune system?
AM: Yes. And a different color. There are more than four thousand rays that come from the sun, and they’re constantly changing according to the seasons. And our body, particularly the immune system, has to adapt itself to these different changes in the environment. So it’s a very clever, incredibly complex situation.
RM: Yes, it is. And so even you need to hydrate your skin by sweating, so it’s not good to be in air conditioning all the time?
AM: If you never sweat, that means that part of the body will accumulate toxins eventually, and then it creates aging of the skin or a damage of the skin and then it’s saturated with certain toxins. You may develop psoriasis or eczema or other illnesses, or what we call diseases, which are really the body trying to get rid of something and partially damages the skin by doing so. But it’s still better than keeping it inside, because that can lead to cancer. So when we blame something and say I want relief, I want to stop this, we are stopping the body, relieving itself of all the poison it desperately tries to get rid of because the other channels of elimination, like the liver or the kidneys or the large intestine, they are clogged up and they can no longer get rid of the poisons, so the skin has to take over.