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Vitamin D: Are You Getting Enough of the “Sunshine Vitamin?”

Are you “D” ficient:

An estimated one billion people worldwide have a vitamin D deficiency.  Your body’s tissues store it because it is fat-soluble. It is also the only vitamin your body is able to produce.  With direct exposure to sunlight, our bodies absorb Vitamin D and turn it into activated vitamin D in the kidneys.  Now, it can support our immune function, lung function, bone strength, a glowing complexion, support our mood, and gut health.  Dr. Prather recommends fifteen minutes daily of direct sunlight to absorb approximately 2000iu of vitamin D. 

vitamin D

Darker skin pigments act as natural sun protection and may require longer times in direct sunlight to achieve optimal levels.  With the blustery winter months in the midwest paired with busy workdays, many have little to no chance of getting enough from the sun.  Not surprisingly, infections increase during the winter months.  So, when sun exposure is not an option, some food sources and supplementation are our only options. 

What to do:

Here at Holistic Integration, with structure-function care, we know the value of Vitamin D. We check levels routinely with a simple blood profile.  Surprisingly, the average result in our office runs around 30 with winter levels as low as 12-21.  For our bodies to work optimally, our goal is to achieve a level between 60-80 for everyone.  We have found it difficult to achieve adequate levels through dietary sources. So, we recommend achieving these levels through supplementation of Vitamin D3, the same form as produced by the body.  The amount of supplementation varies and is primarily impacted by current levels in the body.  Although increased sun exposure will not cause vitamin D toxicity in the body, supplementation can cause toxicity if levels reach above 100.  We “test, don’t guess” before a supplement recommendation.  

Impact today: Double whammy

Vitamin D has been connected with bone strength, mood support, skin health, and most importantly, plays a vital role in the body’s response to infectious diseases.  Optimal levels reduce the survivability of viruses, inhibit virus replication, boost cellular function, and reduce cytokines, inflammatory chemicals in the body.  

Proper levels fight viruses and boost the function of the body.  So, vitamin D levels can be directly link to the severity of a COVID-19 infection.

Stacey Begle

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