The Sunshine Vitamin: The Importance of Vitamin D

The Sunshine Vitamin: The Importance of Vitamin D

Often referred to as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is essential to build strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium, regulate the immune system and the digestive system. Nearly 50% of the population has a deficiency in Vitamin D. A deficiency in vitamin D has shown to have an effect on:

  •  Heart Disease1
  •  Hypertension
  • Obesity3 
  • Cognitive health4 
  • Autoimmunity5 
  • Cancer6

vitamin d deficiency chart


How to Improve your Vitamin D levels:

If you feel you are at a greater risk for vitamin D deficiency it is recommended to get serum vitamin D levels checked. Ideally, your serum blood level of vitamin D should be within a range of 40 and 90 ng/mL(nanograms per milliliter). If you are deficient or borderline deficient, there are a few different ways you can go about improving your vitamin D status. There are three main ways to get vitamin D: sunlight, food sources, and supplementation.

sunlightSunlight
When our skin is exposed to sunlight, vitamin D3 is produced. This happens through the UVB rays hitting cholesterol within the skin cells. During the winter months, the amount of vitamin D we receive from the sun is less than the spring, summer and fall. Vitamin D produced in the skin lasts almost twice as along then when taking it orally through food sources or supplementation8.


food sourcesFood sources
Salmon, tuna and cod liver oil are all great sources of vitamin D as is beef liver, egg yolks, cheese, and mushrooms.

 


vitaminsSupplementation
A vitamin D3 supplement can provide the recommended daily value of vitamin D, if not more. Multivitamins can also provide a source of vitamin D, often containing at least 10 mcg (400 IU) of vitamin D per serving.


References
1 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2851242/
2 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2851242/
3 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705328/
4 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22536767
5 ncbi.nlm .nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6047889/
6 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19817700
7 vitamindcouncil.org/do-vitamin-d-requirements-vary-between-ethnicities/#.XVNzv5NKjyg
8 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3356951/.

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