Vitamin D- and 4 Reasons Why You Need It
Vitamin D- also known as the Sunshine Vitamin is important for health.
At this time of year, our days get shorter, and many of us spend more time inside, we are not getting enough of that sunshine vitamin on our skin.
Without sun, there would be no life on this planet... including us. Vitamin D is manufactured in your skin when in contact with ultraviolet light (UVB) from the suns rays. Then, your body transfers the vitamin via your bloodstream to the liver and kidneys to be used or stored. It can be stored in the liver, skin, brain, spleen and bones.
So, why do we need Vitamin D?
- Remember all vitamins and minerals work together. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium which helps maintain healthy bones and teeth. This absorption of calcium happens in your intestines, and without enough Vitamin D to do the job, it can lead to problems such as rickets in children and osteoporosis in older adults.
Vitamin D has, in recent studies, been found to be extremely important to our immune system. From autoimmune conditions to the flu, sufficient amounts of Vitamin D can protect our bodies against getting sick.
Vitamin D has been been linked to help reduce infections, reduce heart disease risk factors, and reduce the risk of some types of cancer. More and more studies are finding out just how important Vitamin D is for a variety of health conditions.
There's a good chance either you, or you know someone that has been affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) if you live anywhere that has short winter days (and lots of long nights). If you are feeling blue or low on energy during this time of year, it is often because of a lack of sunshine, and Vitamin D. Making sure you get a regular dose can improve your mood.
Where do we get Vitamin D?
- The best place to get Vitamin D is direct from the sun. Make an effort for some fresh air and sunshine every day!
- Food sources include cod liver oil, egg yolks, liver and wild caught fish like salmon.
- Supplements- Vitamin D is often included in multi- vitamins, but usually in a very small dose. I prefer liquid drops, and in the form of Vitamin D3. You can shop for Vitamin D HERE. (15% off everything for the month of November!)
How Much vitamin D do we need?
Everybody is different- for example, if you live in the Caribbean, and work outdoors, you will need to supplement differently than people who:
- live in northern climates with short days in the winter
- in large cities where tall buildings block the light
- in a city with lots of smog or air pollution
- people that work night shifts and do not see a lot of daylight
- people that wear uniforms or cover bodies with lots of clothes
- people that wear sunscreen on a daily basis
** Vitamin D has a potential of toxicity. Toxicity can be from sun or from supplementation. Do not take more than your recommended daily amount. Please check with a health care practitioner for testing and advice on whether you should supplement with Vitamin D.
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Hope to see you on the beach one day soon!
Gaylene Gomez, NNCP, C.H.N.