Shedding some light on the Sunshine Vitamin
With 1 in 2 people worldwide deficient in Vitamin D, I'm sharing some goodies on getting a bit more of it and why it's so important.
Do you know that feeling when you step outside and the warm sun hits your face? Don’t you just feel better instantly?
Sunshine feeds your soul and literally nourishes your body with vitamin D or as I like to call it the Sunshine Vitamin.
If you live in the north like I do it can be tricky to get enough Vitamin D especially during the winter months. You need to spend 10-15 minutes in the sun exposing as much skin as possible, not wearing sunscreen but also avoiding sun damage to your skin! Super simple right!? Not to mention -25 degrees is not ideal for wearing your best bathing suit outside for 10 to 15 mins! Yikes!
The large majority of everyone living up here in the “north” is deficient in Vitamin D. Doctors won’t even test your levels with a regular blood test because they know it will be low.
1 in every 2 people worldwide are deficient in the sunshine vitamin.
So odds are pretty good that you need more vitamin D and the best way to get that is with a good supplement. And getting enough is super important. This must have nutrient is associated with a bunch of ways to maintain good health.
Vitamin D is awesome for helping reduce your risk of a number of diseases including heart disease.
It’s been shown to help regulate mood, being bummed out in winter because it’s so darn cold is one thing, but being extra bummed out could be a sign you need some more of the sunshine vitamin in your life.
It also helps support healthy bones and teeth
And its a great option to boost your immune system
Some studies show it can help with weight loss.
Vitamin D is different from other vitamins, it’s actually considered to be a pro-hormone because we can synthesize it when sunlight hits our skin. We can also get extra vitamin D from food sources like sardines, salmon and eggs.
Living up north isn’t the only thing that affects levels of vitamin D that you are absorbing. However living closer to the equator is quite helpful. The time of year and time of day also have an affect. In winter the suns angle early and later in the day is problematic because less UVB rays are able to pass through the atmosphere. (These are the rays that our body synthesizes into the useful little vitamin) the longer your shadow the less UVB rays are hitting you.
Skin colour also has an affect on your levels of vitamin D. The pigment melanin reduces the skin’s ability to synthesize vitamin D. Some studies suggest that those with darker skin need up to 10 times more sun exposure to get the same amount of vitamin D as someone with lighter skin.
Your gut can be a factor as well. If you have digestive issues you may not be able to absorb vitamin D from food sources properly.
Being overweight impacts vitamin D too. Vitamin D is fat soluble which simply means that fat in your body is how you absorb and store this vitamin. So if you are overweight, the extra fat on your body will need corresponding amounts of Vitamin D.
So how much Vitamin D should you take? The Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) is 400-800 IU (depending on your age), but many studies suggest 1000-4000 IU. 4000 IU is the upper limit for Canada, however I believe it is person specific. My mom for example takes 10000 IU in the winter because she has had her levels tested and works with her wellness provider to plan out her intake of Vitamin D over the course of the year. She takes less in summer since she is outside more.
If you are curious to learn more about Vitamin D supplementation and what might work best for you to book a free supplement consultation.