D3 Vitamin

The suns sets early these days, bringing longer nights, more darkness and less vitamin D3.

Vitamin D3 is essential to the human body. Without it, our bones become porous, our immune systems compromised, and for some of us, our moods low, often referred to as Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD).

Vitamin D3 is so important, that our bodies make it when exposed to the suns UVB rays.

I am not a big proponent of vitamins and supplements. I believe that food is the body's best medicine and source of fuel, and that by eating a diet of "real" foods, nature can provide you with all that you need.

There are a few vitamins that I think are essential to supplement ~ one of those being Vitamin D3.

There is much controversy about vitamins these days, especially D. Different research, by different groups, under different circumstances, produces different results. So, for me, a lot of research and self-intuition, brings my answers.

"Vitamin D Deficiency" has been linked to many illnesses, like cancer, osteoporosis, crohn's disease, heart disease, depression, Alzheimer's and many more. When people with these illnesses start increasing their D levels, they begin to feel better.

Like myself, I have met many people who feel the affects of SAD in the winter months and find that when they begin to take vitamin D3, they feel better. I am no longer affected by SAD. I am positive it is due to my daily D3 intake along with my change in diet, exercise and sleep patterns.

Here is what you need to know about vitamin D.

Vitamin D is essential to the human body because it:

  • Regulates Calcium and Phosphorus levels in the blood
  • Aides in Calcium Absorption and Bone Growth, protecting against Osteoporosis and bone fractures. Without it, we do not absorb Calcium.
  • Regulates the Immune System to keep the body healthy and strong
  • Increases Serotonin levels, the feel good hormone

How do we get vitamin D?

The Sun ~ In 10-20 minutes (to turn your skin pink) the skin absorbs UVB rays, turning them into Vitamin D3. Full-body summer sun exposure results in about 10,000 (IU).
Oral Vitamin D3 Supplements. Vegetarians and Vegans can take D2, but it is not the same as what is produced by the human body. It is a fungal production.
Oily fish like salmon, herring, sardines & halibut; cod liver oil; and shitake mushrooms. Fortified milk and processed foods contain synthetic D and are not good sources.
A common myth about Vitamin D3 ~ exposing your face and hands to the sun gives you enough Vitamin D3. Research shows that more of your skin needs to be exposed to the UVB rays.

Here on the East Coast, UVB rays are at their strongest in the summer months, between 10am and 12noon, when the sky is high above us in the sky.

Why are we not getting enough Vitamin D?

Time of day, seasons and latitude determine amounts of UVB rays that reach our skin.
Sunblock ~ blocks out the essential UVB rays.
Skin type ~ the darker the skin, the longer it takes for the UVB rays to be absorbed.

How much Vitamin D do I need?

Have your physician perform a 25(OH)D test to have your blood levels checked.
Normal levels are between 50-70 ng/ml.
The Vitamin D Council recommends 1000 (IU) for healthy infants and children and 5000 (IU) for healthy teens and adults.
Colin and I take 800 (IU) and 4000 (IU) Carlson D3 Drops, respectively. It is very easy. This past summer, we stopped taking them since we were out in the sun often, and we both got sick. So, now we are back on track with our daily Vitamin D3. So far so good!

What about Vitamin D Toxicity? Apparently that is quite rare. If you have your blood levels checked every 6 months, and are within the healthy ranges, you will be fine.

Make sure you are not Magnesium Deficient. Vitamin D requires magnesium to turn it into a usable form in the body. Taking vitamin D supplements, while you are deficient in magnesium, can cause mild to severe heart palpitations.

As with any vitamin supplementation, it is important to have your blood drawn and analyzed by your doctor. Then you will know which vitamins you need to take and which ones you do not.

If you are deficient in any areas, try to focus on your diet as well. Your body knows what to do with nature's nutrients better than man made ones.

It is also important to make sure that the supplements you are taking do not interfere with any ailments or medications.

Are you taking vitamin D? Can you share your experiences, good or bad?

Happiness and Health for the Holiday Season! Thanks for reading!

For more information on vitamin D, please visit the Vitamin D Council and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Source: http://ridgewood.patch.com/articles/did-you-take-your-vitamin-d3-today