Sun Is The Best Friend of Your Immune System

sun vitamind immune systemA summer holiday under a warm Mediterranean sun is very valuable for people who live in northern latitudes. Sun improves your immune system along with many other benefits. A few days ago, Russian Transport Minister Yevgeny Dietrich emphasized the importance of sunlight: “We are trying to provide means to our people to travel to warm waters and receive adequate vitamin D.” [1]

In 2020, the summer came to Antalya early. The summer season has been expanding from May to November  for the last 10 years. This year, summer started with the extreme heat wave in the middle of May. The temperature exceeded 35 degrees on 15 May and reached 41 degrees by 17th, breaking a 91 year record. [2]

Sun is the main source of vitamin D in our body, which is very important for a strong immune system. Book in advance to spend a great summer holiday in Antalya! With its hot summers by the magnificent blue Mediterrenean you can enjoy all the sunshine you want!

Antalya: 300 Days of Sun

Antalya is known for its sunny and mild weather and hospitality since ancient times. In Antalya, where summers are long and hot, winters are generally warm. It almost never rains in summer, rarely in December and January, and plenty in the first spring and autumn. Antalya as a tourism paradise has long been embracing the travelers who want to enjoy the sun with an average of 300 sunny days a year. [6]

heat sun immune systemWarm waters of Antalya are suitable for swimming at least nine months, the beaches are surrounded by green pine trees. Antalya with its long summer season is a favorite place for holidaymakers who seek both sun and plenty of fresh air. This year, Antalya is experiencing one of its hottest years measured since 1929. In May the temperatures started rising after 10th, reaching 41 degrees in 17th, breaking a 91 year record. [2]


Sun Is So Important For Immune System

“There is an indisputable relationship between vitamin D and the immune system.” This is one of the most important results of a study under the direction of Prof. Dr. Philip Calder [4] from the University of Southampton. Vitamin D receptors are present on all white blood cells. In 2017, it was shown that increasing the vitamin D levels of people with levels below 25 ng/mL3 reduces the possibility of developing a respiratory infection by approximately 42%. [5]

Although vitamin D is known as one of the essential fat-soluble vitamins, it is not technically a vitamin. Actually unlike other vitamins, it is produced in the human body and is found in very small amounts in nutrients. Moreover, when vitamin D is taken from foods or supplements, it must be converted by the body before providing any benefit thus making sun the best natural source of it.


Sun & Immune System

sun immune systemAt the beginning of the 20th century, doctors would recommend going out for walks under the sun for a wide spectrum of diseases, from diabetes to immune system  problems. Nurses would roll beds outside so patients could get a healthy dose of sun. That was until the fear of skin cancer (Melanoma) settled in. However, according to the book “Embrace The Sun” written by Dr. Marc Sorenson, there are 300 cases that occur due to sun avoidance for every 1 case caused by sun exposure. [3]

If you avoid the sun, you may be ruining your health” says Dr. Sorenson. Sun avoidance may be as dangerous to your health as smoking because the sun is essential not only for the production of vitamin D, but also for many other chemicals of the body. When you avoid sun and only use nutritional supplements, you may be missing out on the following:

  • Nitric Oxide (NO): The sun increases Nitric Oxide production in the body even in winter. The UVA and near-infrared light spectrum in the sun rays accelerate the release of NO stores in your skin to the bloodstream. NO reduces the risk of heart disease together with many other benefits; it also affects the level of Cytochrome c Oxidase (CcO) levels, which strengthens mitochondria and is not found in any vitamin D supplements.
  • Brain Source Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF): BDNF, also known as brain growth hormone, is very related to sun exposure level according to studies conducted at Leiden University in the Netherlands. The level of BDNF in our body drops in winter and rises again in summer. This discovery also explains why people tend to get depressed in the winter months.
  • Serotonin: A study has shown that when exposed to sun all day, the level of Serotonin hormone in the body increases by 800%. Serotonin is beneficial to immune system response, prevents depression and helps preventing cancer with good sleep through its precursor melatonin.


How To Get The Best Sun Exposure

Although the sun is the natural way to improve your immune system  by increasing vitamin D levels, there are some factors that affect the level of vitamin D you get from the sun:

  • Where You Live: The further you are from the equator, the less UVB rays necessary for your body to produce vitamin D. Because of short sunny days and cold, clothes that cover legs and arms also limit the UVB level you can get.
  • Air Quality: Carbon particles caused by combustion of fossil fuels absorb UVB rays and reduce vitamin D production. Clean and fresh air means your body can produce more Vitamin D.
  • Interiors: Modern high insulating windows let sunlight in but filter UVB rays. If you are constantly working indoors, your body may not be able to produce Vitamin D even if the environment is bright, because your skin will not have enough UVB exposure.
  • Your Skin Color: Melanin is the substance that determines the darkness of your skin. Dark-skinned people need more UVB exposure than light-skinned people to produce the same amount of vitamin D.
  • Your weight: The body of fat in your body uses vitamin D. Studies have shown that obesity is associated with low vitamin D levels, and being overweight can affect the bioavailability of vitamin D in your body.

Check out  opportunities now to get the most out of the beautiful sun, in a Mediterranean dream!
Enjoy summer in Antalya with Papillon Hotels!