It seems fitting that on the first official day of winter we are discussing the benefits of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is often referred to as “The Sunshine Vitamin” because our bodies produce 90% of it from sunlight exposure. However, due to the increased use of sunscreen, staying indoors more, and people living in cold climates, some people are deficient in this important vitamin. As the weather grows colder and colder going into January and February, we are much more apt to have low levels in our blood.
Why is Vitamin D so important?
SO MANY REASONS!! More and more research has come out about the health benefits of Vitamin D; including its role in the management of diabetes, maintaining teeth and bone health, supporting lung function and heart health, boosting your immune system, and it’s incredible role in cancer prevention.
Vitamin D is integral in warding off Influenza A infection. Curious that “flu season” coincides with winter, isn’t it? The time when our sun exposure, and subsequent Vitamin D, is lowest is when our immune systems are at their weakest. This increases our odds for contracting viruses such as the flu.
Bone and Teeth Health
In order for calcium and phosphorus to be regulated and maintained, Vitamin D must be present. It absorbs calcium in the intestine and reclaims it before being excreted by the kidneys so that our bones can be maintained. Lack of Vitamin D in children can lead to rickets, and in adults, it can cause osteomalacia or osteoporosis.
Possible Cancer Prevention?
A review of the literature in April 2016 revealed that high serum (blood) levels of active Vitamin D were inversely related to cancer risk. In fact, the incidence of cancer was 67% lower in women with higher levels of Vitamin D in their blood!
Non-specific musculoskeletal pain has been correlated to low levels of Vitamin D. In 2009, the Mayo Clinic published a study that showed that patients with inadequate Vitamin D levels required nearly twice as much narcotic pain medicine to control their pain as did patients with higher levels. A doctor in Minneapolis, MN found that out of 150 people who came into a community clinic complaining of chronic pain, 93% of them had extremely low levels of Vitamin D.
To Wrap it up
When you take a Vitamin D supplement, be sure that it is a quality one (like we recommend from Pure Encapsulations.) Also, because Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin (along with A, E, and K) it is imperative that you take the pill form with food. If you are taking a liquid form make sure that it is suspended in fats like triglycerides.