We have recently been hearing a lot about Vit D (D2, D3) but did you know that it is more accurate to categorize it as an hormone? Thus it is relatively difficult to ingest enough of it naturally in foods and there is a complicated component where the sun plays a vital role in its synthesis.
This vitamin/hormone is essential in many bodily functions and in it’s most severe deficiency levels can contribute to a variety of ailments like osteoporosis (thinning bones) and even depression.
But after decades of sun blocking and avoiding the sun to minimize the ravages of aging and skin cancers we have a whole generation of adults deficient in Vit D.
It is common for patients to complain of fatigue, tingling and numbness issues related to a deficiency as well.
Here are the main functions of Vit D
1. Vitamin D helps build healthy, strong bones (at any age.)
2. It prevents some types of skin cancer. How ironic since the sun is needed in the metabolism of vit D, but the sun damage to the skin can cause skin cancer too.
3. Vitamin D prevents anemia.
4. It helps regulate weight and energy. Deficiency of vitamin D has been linked to diabetes and obesity.
5. It may prevent multiple sclerosis and depression.
So consider these things and see if you need to talk to you doctor about being screened for a deficiency.
Here are the top 3 most effective ways to avoid VIT D deficiency:
1. Be ACTIVE OUTDOORS and get gentle sunlight for at least 20 minutes a day before 11 am and after 4 pm in most parts of the US helps avoid burns. It will certainly take a little longer to get that tan going.
2. Eat a healthy mix of diverse foods which include fortified cereals, dairy, small fish (salmon, mackerel), fruits.
3. Discuss with your regular doctor if taking calcium and vit D supplements are right for you.
Here in upstate NY, it is hard to get the amount of Vitamin D that you need!
Which means you might have to make up for the deficiency by eating vitamin D rich foods- salmon, mackerel, tuna & fortified grains and/or take a vitamin D supplement.
Thank you so much for this information. I really need to start getting outdoors more and start eating more grains and salmon.
I recently had my Vit. D level tested, (many people are deficient where I live) and article just reminded me that I have not heard back on the result! Thanks for the reminder – and an interesting post.
I can see this to be true as people try to avoid the sun or they are working indoors all day. I live where it is very sunny always so I get plenty.
Thank you for posting this. I think I really need to get my vitamin D levels checked. I know several who live here in PA that are deficient.
Thanks for the info! I’ve been monitoring my D and have been taking supplements. You just reminded me to make the appointment for a re-check!
You are welcome Lory.
Thanks for this great information. I don’t think I get enough so will have to start.
I am on a vitamin D supplement but I had no idea it was involved in so many functions. It’s amazing how complex the body is!
Yay! A good reminder- I was just fixin’ to overhaul my supplements. The are getting low and I haven’t really thought about them through the summer. I’ll remember to add the D to my list!
Most of the multi-vitamin formulations already have your daily requirement of vitamin D in them so you might not need to get vitamin D by itself. Any multi-vitamin pill with 800 IU should be fine.
I really appreciate the information because the sun is good, but also bad….great info!
This is something I need to have checked!
Great information! Sometimes it can be so confusing with all the conflicting information out there.
Vitamin D is HUGE to your health! I always have to supplement in the winter time or else I feel awful for months.
These are all important tips and information to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing.