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.