There is so much information out there about which vitamins to take, how much, which is best, and the list goes on! There is one vitamin, however, that we believe is the key to a path towards wellness.
It is estimated that nearly 70% of the US population and 1 billion of the world’s population has Vitamin D insufficiency! Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin meaning it is produced and then stored within the fat of our body, in the presence of sunlight. The liver then converts the precursor of vitamin D (7-dehydrocholesterol), which is a variant of cholesterol in the skin, to 25- hydroxyvitamin D, in the presence of Ultraviolet B rays of the sun. Some studies indicate that vitamin D plays a critical role in immunity and deficiency can lead to an inability to fight off certain pathogens.
Vitamin D modulates the gene expression of hundreds of genes making it essential for all normal function. Deficiency can lead to a slew of health challenges which include:
Back Pain / Bone Pain
Chronic Colds / infections
Sleep Apnea / insomnia
With so many “secondary conditions” stemming from Vitamin D deficiency, restocking on this vitamin should be one of your go to’s when you’re feeling down. While the Daily Recommended Dosage of Vitamin D is only 600mg, it is advised that humans get between 2,000-4,000mg PER DAY! Here are some great sources of Vitamin-D to get you on your way to that magic number:
Sunlight (with SPF-FREE skin!)
There are some dietary sources of vitamin D but the best source comes from above, the sun. The best source of vitamin D is by exposing our bare skin to sunlight. However, there are some confounding factors of our blood levels of vitamin D in our body and our social, cultural behaviors stop us from exposing enough of us to sunlight. During the winter months we are not exposed to enough UVB as we are above the 40th parallel. The 40th parallel is easily delineated by Nebraska/ Kansas state-line and running through Tom’s River, New Jersey. Anything north of this latitudinal line does not get enough UVB rays to sufficiently allow your body to produce vitamin D during the winter months.
We recommend that Vitamin-D is supplemented in addition to a Multivitamin in order to obtain the adequate daily dosage necessary for optimal health and functioning.
There are many factors that can make one susceptible to lowered vitamin D levels: spending time indoors, wearing sunscreen when outside, living in northern climates, having darker pigmented skin and having a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30.
To determine your body’s vitamin D levels you can and should obtain a blood test- D 25 Hydroxy level blood test. This test checks for optimal serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, in the blood, which should be above 50.0 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Supplementation of vitamin D is advised to maintain these levels.