When my daughter was around four years old, we were headed into the kitchen for breakfast one morning when she decided to step outside, spread her arms toward the sky and stand with her mouth wide open. When I asked her what she was doing, she stated, “I’m getting my Vitamin D, mom”.
Over recent years, researchers have uncovered how important Vitamin D is for our health. Vitamin D has been shown to decrease inflammation, support neuromuscular function, strengthen the immune system, support healthy bones by promoting calcium absorption and has been shown to play a role in preventing colon, prostate and breast cancer. A deficiency in vitamin D is very common, especially in the winter, and it can come with a myriad of symptoms. If you have a tendency to get the winter blues, or suffer from seasonal affective disorder, you may have a Vitamin D deficiency. Other symptoms of deficiency include chronic pain, weakness, frequent illnesses and excessive sweating.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts like a hormone in your body. The best way to get Vitamin D is from the sunlight and is recommended to get 15-20 minutes of sun daily. Avoid slathering toxin-filled sunscreen (another subject that we will discuss later) on your body as it will block the absorption of this crucial vitamin/hormone. So what is one to do in the cold, winter tundra, when the sun hasn’t come out for days? Food sources are typically low in Vitamin D so the next best thing is supplementation.
Vitamin D3 is the most biologically active form of Vitamin D and has been shown to provide the most benefit for the human body. When recommending dosage, it is important to know what your current Vitamin D serum level is. Most labs offer the 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood serum test. It is the most accurate test for Vitamin D levels. An optimal level should fall between 50-70ng/ml. Depending on your level of deficiency, recommended dosages may be from 8,000IU and up. However, it is very important to get advice from your trusty Chiropractic Physician or Medical Professional before determining the level appropriate for you!
The latest research is also suggesting that K2 should be increased while taking vitamin D supplements (not necessary with only sun exposure). K2 has been shown to prevent abnormal calcium deposits in arteries and veins, which may be an issue when Vitamin D is taken alone. Food sources of K2 include egg yolks, chicken liver, chicken breast and ground beef. Many Vitamin D3 supplements are now being combined with K2 as well. Remember that you get what you pay for. Looking for a good buy on the Internet or your local drug store isn’t a good way to guarantee that you are getting what the label claims. Just so you know…the best form of D isn’t too far away…By Heather Elton, DC, DACBN
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Hi, I'm Dr. Heidi!
A mom of 3, pediatric chiropractor, natural remedy guru and wellness educator.