An Introduction to Vitamin D

This photo is by Patrick Hajzler, AKA OeilDeNuit on stock.xchng

Vitamin D has been in the news a lot recently. What’s all the buzz? Vitamin D is way more important than previously thought. The short of it is that D is a vital part to your immune system. It is also important for calcium absorption and bone health. Vitamin D deficiency can also affect your mood, playing a part in Seasonal Affective Disorder (AKA winter depression, the winter blues).

The scary thing is that more people are deficient in Vitamin D than realized. It’s not causing rickets or osteomalacia in the US, but it can lead to increased risk for cancer, osteoporosis, and even the common cold.

But it’s easy to fix. Get at least 15 minutes of direct sunshine a day and your body will produce more than enough for your cells to use. You say you live in a place that isn’t sunny enough? What can you do? Supplement. Find a supplement of D3, which is what your body naturally produces, and take at least 5,000 IU (International Units). The current recommendation is only 400 IU, but your body needs way more than that. However, I recommend getting out in the sun as much as possible, without burning of course. If you’re out in the sun 15-30 minutes, you are not going to burn, and you cannot overdose on vitamin D this way because any excess D is actually burned off by the sun. Supplementation could very well cause an overdose, but so far in my research I have not heard of it. Still, I would be careful – listen to your body and try to get as much natural D as possible.

Another thing to consider is that taking vitamin D by itself is not going to do all the work. Vitamins and minerals ALL work together to keep your body running. Here are the ones that help vitamin D do it’s work:
magnesium
zinc
vitamin K2
boron
genestein
a tiny amount of vitamin A
The most important one is magnesium. Nuts and seeds are a good source of magnesium. So break out the nuts while you’re sunbathing.

It’s important for everyone to get enough D, but some might have more trouble than others. For instances, those who are dark-skinned might have to stay in the sun longer to produce a good amount vitamin D. Adversely, if you have a lighter skin-tone, you may not need to stay out in the sun to produce the necessary amount.

So what are you to do if you’re going to be out in the sun longer than 30 minutes? Cover up with cotton. White clothing, however easy it becomes dirty, will reflect the sun, and keep you cooler than stripping down to your bikini. If you don’t like that so much, find a good sunscreen (as much as I hate chemicals) that has UVA protection. UVB is the light wave that causes sunburns while UVA has been found to be the cause(http://www.skincancer.org/understanding-uva-and-uvb.html) of the cancer so many people are afraid of. I recommend using a sunscreen using all organic materials except for the SPF factor itself. Here’s a list of sunscreens according to certain specifications: nor parabens, pthalates, PEG’s, propylene glycol, SLS, dioxanes, synthetic fragrances or the often usedĀ  SPF chemical oxybenzone (for what some of those chemicals really are, go here (http://safemama.com/glossary/). For most normal day use, you only need an SPF of 15. I’ve also heard (haven’t tried it myself), that lathering coconut oil has a certain sunscreen (around SPF 4, don’t quote me) aspect to it, as well asĀ  being wonderful for the skin.

The sun really isn’t something that needs to be avoided all the time, nor do you need to wear SPF 50 whenever you go out. In fact, if you cut out grains, eat a multitude of veggies, naturally raised/organic meats, fruits and limit excess sugar intake, you may find that you aren’t as prone to burning (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/topic/sunburn-on-the-pb-or-lack-thereof). The Skin Cancer website says that any tanning at all is bad, but how do you get your vitamin D naturally? Take what they recommend about staying out of the sun with a grain of salt. Besides, it’s nice to take a 15-30 minute break to go soak up some rays. I do it every chance I get.

For more on Vitamin D, go here.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “An Introduction to Vitamin D

  1. Pingback: Welcome to Wholistic Living! « Wholistic Living

  2. Pingback: It’s been a while « Wholistic Living

  3. Pingback: How I am fighting Seasonal Affective Disorder | Wholistic Living

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