A Crucial Vitamin for your Health
Vitamin D is often referred to as the “Sunshine Vitamin” because your body synthesizes cholesterol into Vitamin D when your skin in exposed to sunlight. Many people think about their need for Vitamin D during the winter, but believe that they can get enough Vitamin D easily when it is sunny outside. For a majority of people in the industrial world this is simply not the case!
Unless a large amount of your skin is exposed to the sun for at least 30 minutes daily, there is a good chance that you are deficient in Vitamin D. While your diet can contribute to your level of Vitamin D, we were genetically designed get our Vitamin D from exposure to the sun. Most people living in northern climates can not get enough sunlight to produce optimal levels of Vitamin D. I like to think about how much time our ancestors used to spend outside, and compare that to our modern lifestyles. When you think about it that way, it is obvious that virtually all of us spend WAY more time indoors than our relatives generations ago.
Why Is This Important?
Nearly all the cells in our bodies have Vitamin D receptors. When we are deficient in Vitamin D our bodies can not function properly. According to Chris Kresser, Vitamin D acts as a potent hormone in the body, regulating the expression of genes and activating enzymes and proteins.
Appropriate Levels Are Vital For
- Immune system function
- Cardiovascular health
- Bone growth and repair
Vitamin D Deficiency Have Been Linked To
- Improper bone grow/repair
- Heart disease
- Autoimmune disease
- Musculoskeletal pain syndromes
While my first recommendation for everyone is to spend more time in the sun, vitamin D supplementation is also an option. If you avoid the sun for a fear of getting skin cancer, I encourage you to listen to this podcast of Dr. Michael Ruscio interviewing Vitamin D researcher Dr. Michael Holick. In it, they discuss research that shows sun exposure alone actually reduced the risk of melanoma, all cause mortality, breast cancer, blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
If you are unable to sufficiently raise your levels of Vitamin D with sun exposure alone, you can supplement with Vitamin D. It is important to find a good brand that you can trust. My favorite brand is Innate Choice. Their product uses the same form of Vitamin D that our bodies make through exposure to the sun and is carried in an organic olive oil.
If you are interested in ordering this product, or would like to get your Vitamin D levels checked, I'd be happy to help!