Of all the things the sun can do, like aiding in mental health, helping us tell time, and giving that midsummer glow, would you ever imagine that the sun can benefit your digestive system?
What could the sun and our gut microbiomes have in common? The sun is not only external, but millions of miles away, and our guts?
What the Data Says
Some provocative information claims that sunlight exposure could have more of an impact on the body than the intake of nutrients. Forums online have been debating the possibility that there is not only a link, but that digestion could depend on the sun. Though, these debates are hardly research.
A telling study observed that along with a lack of diversity of the bacteria in the gut, low levels of vitamin D had been linked to inflammatory bowel disease.
A later study suggests that even with supplementation of vitamin D, changes in the microbiome diversity of those studied did not occur until they were exposed to UVB rays. Though, there is the caution that the numbers of those surveyed were not expansive enough for substantial and conclusive evidence.
How Does it Happen?
When UV light from the sun reaches our skin, it triggers vitamin D synthesis. Wearing sunblock does block much of this from happening. However, not much is needed for the body’s adequate absorption of vitamin D.
Plenty of information suggests a link between exposure to the sun and digestion. However, there is not enough research to yet conclude particular aspects of how. With over one billion people worldwide suffering from low levels of vitamin D, and high rates of those who suffer from digestive issues, it’s worth leaning into.