Oh, shiny, bright, beautiful sun!  How we crave you and need you!  After a little hiatus in gorgeous, sunny Mexico, I have been paying my gratitude to that amazing ball of vitamin D.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, as well as, a hormone that the body produces naturally.  It is absolutely imperative to our health.  There is no escaping the body's requirements for this essential nutrient.  Without it, you sacrifice bone health and are more prone to that awful C word (that's cancer for those who guessed wrong).  After all, the bones need it to move and the nerves require it in order to carry messages from the brain to whatever body part it is in communication with.  Also, the immune system uses it to fight off bacteria, viruses, and infection.  Additionally, it is good for heart health and those juicy blood vessels. 

Vitamin D does not work alone.  It works synergistically with our friends calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc to help enhance the absorption of these necessary minerals.  Our best source of this hormone and fat-soluble vitamin is the sun!  The body is able to make vitamin D with the exposure of this glowing ball of light.  Sources of food that contain the "sunshine vitamin" are fatty fish such as salmon, herring, tuna, and mackerel.  Also, beef liver, cheese, raw milk, mushrooms, and egg yolks do provide some vitamin D, but nothing too earth shattering.  If you are unable to catch the sun's rays or indulge in these nutritious and delicious foods then supplementation is in order. 

So you ask, "How much of this life saving vitamin do we need?"  Well, it depends on a few factors.  One needs to take a look at where in this big, beautiful world they live.  There will definitely be a discrepancy of dosage between the Tropics and Alaska.  Other factors include your ration of indoor/ outdoor living aka couch potato/ outdoor enthusiast, your skin color, and the receptivity of your vitamin D receptors.  "Based on recent research, Dr. Weil recommends 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day" (www.drweil.com).  This amount is considered a maintenance dose.  Please feel free to visit your family doctor if you believe you might be at risk for vitamin D deficiency.  They might recommend increasing your dosage until stable. 

Vitamin D supplements come in two different forms: D3 and D2.  D3 is what your body normally produces, although in supplement form it is sourced from sheep lanolin so if you are a strict vegetarian or vegan then D2 (which is derived from fungi) will be your D of choice.  

Regardless, get your vitamin D!  Optimal health is at your fingertips. Aside from the above mentioned benefits, it is also helpful with diabetes, obesity, muscle weakness, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, asthma, bronchitis, and tooth and gum disease.  Vitamin D: You are my sunshine!

                                                                                                                              Wishing you all the best of health and happiness,

                                                                                                                                                                Stacy xoxo   


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