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Why You Shouldn’t Wait One More Day to Supplement with Vitamin D

I feel so passionate about this and wanted to share in the the hope that this information can help you as much as it has me.  Supplementing with Vitamin D is simple and inexpensive, yet can have profound health effects.

If you live in Canada like I do, or if you live above 35 degrees latitude, did you know that you do not produce Vitamin D from sunlight from the months of November - March.  When you look at a map of North America, fully two-thirds of the US and all of Canada is above 35 degrees latitude.  Say what?  Don't worry, I am going to give you some tips on how to ensure you are getting enough of the sunshine vitamin.        

Why is this a big deal?  Vitamin D deficiency is connected with 17 varieties of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, chronic pain, and osteoporosis.  

Melanin is the pigment in your skin that gives it color and  absorbs the UVB rays, inhibiting Vitamin D production.  The darker your skin, the less Vitamin D your body produces from sun exposure.  People with olive, dark or black skin need intense sunlight to penetrate the skin in order to make Vitamin D, up to 10 times the amount of sun than light-skinned people require.  

Do you slather on sunscreen and hide in the shade to prevent sun damage during the Summer months?  If so, you are not making enough Vitamin D naturally during the only months of the year where us who live above 35 degrees latitude actually can.  In the Summer, if you spend 30 minutes in the midday sun in a bathing suit, you can make up to 20,000 IU of Vitamin D.  After 30 minutes, slather on the sunscreen and hide in the shade.  But, if you want to make Vitamin D naturally, please be aware of this fact.  

The human body is truly amazing.  If you are getting all your Vitamin D from sunshine, the skin has a protective mechanism to prevent toxicity.  Once Vitamin D levels are elevated, the skin will send the excess into pathways that break it down.  Gotta love Mother Nature.  

If you suffer from chronic pain, chances are you are deficient in Vitamin D.  A good indicator is if you notice you feel more body aches and pains during the winter months.  If so, chances are pretty good that you need a Vitamin D boost.

Do you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? Did you know that three out of four people who have SAD are women? You experience good vibes from the sun because it stimulates dopamine, and serotonin which elevates your mood.  Another reason you want to ensure that you are getting adequate Vitamin D.  

Chances are that if you found your way to my website, you enjoy working out. Did you know that poor physical performance and strength measures were associated with low levels of Vitamin D.  If you are training for an event and your progress is decreasing, you may need some supplemental Vitamin D.   

Here are some foods that will help you get additional Vitamin D:  cod liver oil, egg yolks, fresh fish, mushrooms, fortified cereals, orange juice, and dairy/plant milks. If your diet is less than ideal, I do recommend a Vitamin D supplement.  A couple of my favourites are Garden of Life, and Athletic Greens.

So, if upon reading this you think you are just going to take a bunch of Vitamin D supplements.  Think again.  Vitamin D is fat soluble, therefore it is possible to overdose, although difficult.  The initial signs of Vitamin D overdose are not evident.  It starts with elevated calcium levels in the urine and then the blood.  You might not be aware of excess until you experience significant symptoms like abdominal pain, constipation, muscle weakness, itching, vomiting, and extreme thirst.  High calcium levels also predispose one to kidney stones and high blood pressure.  The upper limit of Vitamin D is considered 100 ng/ml.  If you suspect that you have low Vitamin D levels, I encourage you to work with your doctor.

A safe level of Vitamin D for adults is 2000 IU/day, this is if you do not get a blood test to determine where your current levels are at.  I do encourage you to see your doctor and have your Vitamin D levels measured.  You must have 25D levels tested.  Another term that labs will use for this form of Vitamin D is 25-hydroxyvitamin D.   

If you would like to learn more, I recommend the book The Vitamin D Revolution by Soram Khalsa.  

Cheers to your health!  🎉

This article is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

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