Can the lack of sun affect your vitamin D levels?
Why is vitamin D important?
Vitamin D manages calcium in your blood, bones and gut and helps cells all over your body to communicate properly. Vitamin D mainly comes from your skin when it is exposed to sunlight.
When you take supplements or eat foods that contain vitamin D, your gut also sends the vitamin D to your liver.
Vitamin D is a unique vitamin that we all need. Unfortunately, most of us in the Northeast do not get enough vitamin D during fall and winter due to the lack of sun since our days are shorter; vitamin D is called the “sunshine vitamin.”
When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it makes vitamin D from cholesterol that is in your body. The sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays hit cholesterol present in skin cells, which causes vitamin D synthesis to occur.
Why do we need vitamin D? Vitamin D helps maintain tooth and bone health, supports the immune system, regulates insulin levels, and supports cardiovascular health.
What are the signs of vitamin D deficiency? You may notice that you get sick often, experience fatigue, have bone and back pain, feel depressed (especially in the winter months), experience slow healing wounds, have low bone density, even hair loss and muscle pain.
What can you do?
It is best to eat foods that are rich in vitamin D. You can also supplement your diet with whole food supplements that contain vitamin D, such as cod liver oil or high quality brands of vitamin D3. Avoid synthetic vitamins as much as possible.
What foods are rich in vitamin D? Tuna, salmon, herring, sardines, cod liver oil, oysters, and shrimp. Be sure to eat fish that has been caught sustainably, preferably pole & line or troll caught from the South Pacific and avoid fish that has been farmed or caught from the South Atlantic.
Additional foods high in vitamin D include beef liver, egg yolks, mushrooms, spinach, kale and collards. Be sure to use organic, grass fed, pasture raised. The quality of these foods is important too. If the food is of low quality, you are not really getting the proper nutrients from it!
What supplements are good?
Cataplex D: This supplement from Standard Process contains the most important naturally occurring form of vitamin D called cholecalciferol. Cataplex D supports bone health, mineral absorption, the immune system, and cellular processes.
It also encourages healthy calcium absorption from the intestinal tract into the blood
Supports healthy immune system response function
Supports and maintains healthy bone density
Provides vitamin D, which is needed by almost every cell in the body
D3-K2 LipoSpray: This spray from Energetix, is a blend of vitamin D3, along with fat-soluble vitamin K2 and coconut oil, so that it can be more easily absorbed in the body. D3 and K2 work together to regulate calcium uptake and maintain the integrity of the skeletal and cardiovascular systems. The coconut oil allows the active ingredients (the fat-soluble vitamins D3 and K2) to be more easily absorbed due to the long-chain fatty acids. It is pleasant tasting and easy to use.
If you get sick frequently, are tired, experience bone and back pain, feel depressed, heal slowly from injury, have low bone density, hair loss and/or muscle pain, chances are you might need vitamin D.
Here at the Nutritional Wellness Center we are able to determine what vitamin D is best for you by using Nutrition Response Testing®. Give us a call!