Are You Taking Your Vitamins?

Vitamin D that is.  There is a lot in medical news these days about Vitamin D deficiencies.  Ironically, even with my overexposure to UV lights from tanning beds and unprotected outdoor tanning, I too was diagnosed 2 years ago with a deficiency in D vitamins.  So, what is the best and safest way to make sure you are getting enough, and what is enough?

According to Medical News Today, “Vitamin D is a steroid vitamin, a group of fat-soluble prohormones, which encourages the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous. People who are exposed to normal quantities of sunlight do not need vitamin D supplements because sunlight promotes sufficient vitamin D synthesis in the skin.”  It is also thought to prevent certain cancers.  So, that begs the question, how can we get adequate amounts of Vitamin D AND protect ourselves from the dangers of UV light.

There are plenty of food sources that are high in Vitamin D, for example shitake mushrooms, salmon and sardine.  However, they are not rich enough to provide what you would need for a daily recommendation. Supplements are also beneficial.  Most are sold in 1000 IU.  There are all sorts of different studies advising the proper amount of D that you need daily.  These range from 200 IU to 4-5000 IU daily.

The most important thing to understand is that you do not need to be out in the sun for hours and hours at a time to get the amount of Vitamin D that you need to survive, sometimes it’s just a 10 minutes outside in the morning and evening and that is sufficient.  One of the misconceptions that you may hear about is that you should tan in tanning beds during the winter months to get the UV exposure that you are missing from the warmer times of the year.  PLEASE do not trust in this hype.  Tanning beds accelerate your exposure, hence the reason a 15- 20 minute snooze under the glowing blue lights of a bed will leave you bronzed and sometimes even burnt!  If you are deficient in Vitamin D, then up your intake during the winter.

I could go on and on regarding this topic.  There is a lot of good information out there and also a lot of BS.  Here are a few trustworthy sites with some very informative facts regarding Vitamin D that I suggest you take a look at.

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/

http://www.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/571/Lets_talk_about_vitamin_D.aspx

http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Blog/tabid/130/EntryId/410/25-Excellent-Reasons-to-Take-Vitamin-D.aspx

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