Good Morning Everyone!
Do you see what I see? The sun's finally coming out and I think it's here to stay! (Until we get that random April snowstorm) Things are warming up, the lilies are popping up out of the ground, and the grass is getting green too! With this warmer weather, we also see more people out walking their dogs, going on runs, and soaking up that vitamin D!
If you live in Iowa, Minnesota, anywhere where the winters drag on for 5 months or so, most likely, your vitamin D levels are severely lacking right about now and that can be a problem when it comes to healthy living.
Vitamin D is especially important for 3 main reasons. It promotes calcium absorption. It is needed for bone growth and reformation. It plays an important role in immune function. Plus it can have positive effects on your mood, increases energy, decreases chronic pain, symptoms from autoimmune disorders like fibromyalgia, and muscle pain. The list goes on but these are some of the highlights.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, which means, it builds up in your body when you over consume it so you have it when you under consume it. You can find it in foods like salmon, tuna, or fortified foods like milk or cereal, but mostly, you get Vitamin D from exposure to UVB rays from the sun. The UVB rays convert cutaneous 7-dehydrocholesterol in your skin to previtamin D3 which in turn converts to Vitamin D. There's your microbiology lesson for the day =) BUT, it can be dangerous at high levels of intake and too much sun exposure is also bad for your skin, especially for those of you with light skin! So where do you start? Do you supplement or do you get outside and go for a walk?
It's best if you start out getting your Vitamin D levels checked (a simple blood test) if you are concerned you are not getting enough in your diet and or your sun exposure is lacking....especially if you are having any issues like osteoporosis, muscle pain, fatigue, etc. If you're like me, the thought of getting outside for more than 30 minutes without sunscreen brings back painful sunburn memories. I'm also not always the best about getting my greens in and fish is just not my thing..so I turn to supplementation.
Adults and teens should get about 600 International Units or 15 micrograms per day, or about 6 glasses of milk per day. (I take a 1000 IU supplement about every other day). Your personal Vitamin D needs can vary based off of your age, breastfeeding mothers, or depending on what type of medications you may take, so consult with your medical or chiropractic physician before starting a supplement.
As always, Dr. Bird and Dr. Schany can help answer any questions you might have so feel free to give us a call or ask us about supplementation at your next visit! Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone!