I don’t know anyone that doesn’t love the feeling of sunshine on their face—the warmth that naturally brings a smile to your lips and touches the corners of your eyes, maybe there’s a warm wind wrapping the sun’s rays around you like a blanket—it’s a feeling that reminds us we are part of this planet.
The sad truth is, however, I do know a lot of people that don’t get enough of those sunny moments in their days—and that’s more than just an issue with getting outside.
Not getting enough sunlight can cause Vitamin D Deficiency in the body.
What is Vitamin D?
Huh? What does sunlight have to do with vitamins you ask? Well, in this case, a lot.
Although it’s called a “vitamin,” Vitamin D actually operates more in line with a hormone because it can be produced internally—where vitamins cannot.
Our bodies synthesize Vitamin D in our epithelial cells when we are in the sunlight. Studies show that only takes 10-15 minutes or so a day of direct sunlight without sun protection to make enough vitamin D if you have fair skin (darker skin also results in less Vitamin D synthesis).
Ask yourself, are you outside that much? And, is your skin directly exposed to the sun that often?
For many people, the answer is no to one or both of those questions—especially in the winter time. On average, “In the U.S., only people who live south of a line drawn from Los Angeles to Columbia, S.C., get enough sunlight for vitamin D production throughout the year.” (WedMD)
For those people, it may be prudent to add a Vitamin D supplement to your daily routine.
What Vitamin D Does for Us
No one wants to operate at any type of deficiency, but this one is arguably a quite serious one.
Vitamin D balance is proven to be instrumental for us to properly absorb calcium and phosphate, so that we can build strong bones. Without the right amount, especially in children, Vitamin D Deficiency can lead to bone deformities.
Other studies have shown (though not proven) that Vitamin D helps to regulate our immune system so that we can stay protected from pathogens more efficiently (are you ill more often in the winter? This could be why), and that D3 aids in central nervous system stability.
Since Vitamin D has an impact on intracellular balance, it is also currently being studied as an integral part of the cellular lifecycle—including apoptosis, potentially linking proper Vitamin D balance to being helpful in cancer prevention.
How Much Vitamin D do I Need?
With the increased focus on the benefits of Vitamin D, the sales are booming and people are taking the supplements to boost their health—that’s generally a good thing, but remember that our bodies are best when they’re in balance. More isn’t always better.
Most adults that supplement need about 600-800 IUs per day of Vitamin D—but a lot of people are taking more than 1000 IUs, and many more than 4000 IUs—which is the recommended upper limit of supplementation.
Taking too much Vitamin D can also have a negative impact on health. You can see an over calcifying of bones and hardening of blood vessels, so it is best to get your Vitamin D from natural sources if you can.
Natural Sources of Vitamin D
Along with proper sunshine—which we find is the most pleasant way—there aren’t a whole lot of choices for Vitamin D-rich foods, especially for people on a vegetarian diet.
You can get Vitamin D from all sorts of fish like sardines, salmon, herring, and tuna. If you’re a person that follows the old health traditions, a tablespoon of cod liver oil a day has all the natural Vitamin D you’ll need (along with a lot of other things like omegas, Vitamin A, and loads of antioxidants)
For the veggies, a cup of maitake mushrooms along with fortified orange juice are your best natural sources.
Our Vitamin D Supplement Recommendation
If you do want to take a supplement, especially in the long winter months, you want to make sure that it’s the right one.
And if you’re reading this it means that the “right one” for you is pure, natural, and backed by research.
Our choice for Vitamin D supplementation is from Thorne Research. This company is what you’re looking for.
They test, and retest, their products so they know exactly what is in every product. They don’t use fillers in their products and they offer solutions to make achieving your health goals simpler.
Case in point, the Thorne Research Vitamin D/K2 Supplement comes in a liquid form with a dropper container. You literally need two drops a day to get the recommended dosage—that’s up to more than 1.5 years of daily recommended Vitamin D for under $25.
Have you tried the Vitamin D supplement from Thorne? Tell us what you like about it in the comments below!