Okay unless you’ve been living in a cave these last few years, I know you must have heard of vitamin D for good health! But what is vitamin D? How much do I need? Where can I get it from? How does it improve my immune system heading into the cold/flu/covid winter season?
Hundreds of research studies suggest vitamin D can help with everything from osteoporosis, autoimmune disorders, heart disease and cancer.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin we get mostly from the sun but also in smaller amounts from food and supplements. Vitamin D2 can be made from plants such as mushrooms and yeasts. Vitamin D3 comes from animal products like fish and egg yolks. We also make vitamin D3 on the surface of our skin if we are exposed to sunlight. Nearly every cell in our body has receptors for vitamin D. Vitamin D supports your immune system, cell function, blood sugar, bones, calcium absorption and blood pressure.
Here’s a Quiz to determine if you might be low…
If you answer YES to ANY of the following you likely are low in Vitamin D.
Do you live far from the equator or live in a colder climate with long or harsh winters?
Have darker skin?
Fall into the 50+ category?
Have chronic illness, autoimmune disease or are overweight?
Tend to cover up outside or wear head to toe sunscreen?
Not spend much time outside during peak daylight hours?
So, do you need to supplement? The only way to know for sure is to obtain a blood test. You can do that at your doctor or send away for a simple kit to do it yourself, using the Everlywell Vitamin D kit HERE. To optimize bone health and minimize risk of disease, people should aim to achieve a blood level of vitamin D if at least 50 mg/dl with the optimal range being more like 70 mg/dl.
So how do I get enough vitamin D? The best source ever is THE SUN. 10-20 min of midday sun on exposed skin without sunscreen (yep that’s what I said) is ideal. The amount of vitamin D you get and absorb from the sun depends on geographic locale, skin tone, clothing, sunscreen use and age.
Foods high in vitamin D (but the sun is still better!)
Trout 650 IU
Salmon 550 IU
Sardines 50 IU
Egg 50 IU
Beef liver 40 IU
Canned tuna 40 IU
What about supplements? Vitamin D3 is by far the most effective in optimizing vitamin D levels in the blood. Clinical “red flag” deficiency is under 30 mg/dl and moderately low “yellow flag” levels are 30-49 mg/dl. A supplementation of 5,000 IU daily for 30-49m mg/dl and 10,000 IU for under 30 mg/dl is generally recommended.
Clinical lows of vitamin D dramatically increase the risk of osteoporosis, autoimmune conditions, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression. Although deficiency is linked to these diseases its unclear how.
Get some natural sunlight when you can, increase your intake of fatty fish.
If you suspect a deficiency or have never been tested-get a blood test to see what your levels are and supplement as needed
In 2022 my blogs will each feature a different supplement...NEED A GREAT VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENT? Read below.
Email me Sarah@catalystwellnesscoaching.com or text 608-291-4448 if you want a free supplement consult on anything else as well!
Keep Moving Forward 😊 Sarah
Supplement of the Month
Vitamin D is essential for the normal functioning of many important systems in the body and is needed to support a healthy immune system and long-term bone health. Many do not get sufficient vitamin D3 in their diet, and the synthetic vitamin D2 that is added to dairy products is not typically well-absorbed or included in sufficient amounts. Vitamin D deficiency symptoms and individuals' needs for this nutrient vary depending on the individual, so we recommend consulting with a physician or qualified healthcare professional for testing prior to using a high-potency vitamin D supplement. The liquid format of Optimal Vitamin D makes it easy to tailor the dose to fit your specific needs, and may be easier to take than capsules or softgels for some individuals. Optimal Vitamin D is free from artificial fillers, flow agents, preservatives, or flavors.