3 Roles of Vitamin D
It’s the middle of Winter with short days, the snow piling up, and if you are like me you are getting cabin fever. You may be dreaming about a vacation to Florida or Mexico. With these short Winter days that also means zero vitamin D with outdoor activities.
Vitamin D is a hormone. Yes, a hormone. Our body is able to produce it through our skin with direct sun contact. Unfortunately, 70% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D and that number is even higher for Minnesotans due to our long Winters. It’s important to supplement with vitamin D for a number of reasons.
Let’s talk about the three important roles vitamin D plays in our body.
- Bone Density - If you are drinking milk or eating cottage cheese for bone health, you may be missing the key ingredients to absorb that calcium and build stronger bones. The proper bone density recipe is calcium, vitamin D, and K2. Vitamin D ensures that calcium is absorbed and K2 integrates it into the bones. When taken together, bone health is at its best!
- Immune Health - Vitamin D helps fight off infections by regulating immune cell activity. Because vitamin D is a hormone, it can bind or connect to our immune cells to create an active immune response. It has also been shown to calm down an overactive immune response and decrease the inflammation in the body. Thus, it’s been shown to help with colds, flus, covid, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, and even diabetes.
- Mood - Again, as we saw with bone health, vitamin D is a key ingredient for serotonin creation. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps promote happiness and pleasure but may not be optimal without vitamin d. If you get the winter blues, then vitamin D may be the missing ingredient to your happiness.
On top of these three, there’s growing research that vitamin D supports sleep, weight loss, blood pressure, energy, and more.
How to raise Vitamin D levels?
Vitamin D can be absorbed somewhat through diet but a lot of the research shows that supplementation or direct sun exposure is far more superior. Being the middle of Winter and sun exposure is nil, supplementation is the way to go.
When deciding on a brand, be sure the label says vitamin D3 and is supplemented with K2. The difference between vitamin D and vitamin D3 is, vitamin D3 is the natural form that our body makes through direct sunlight exposure.
There’s brands out there that can be taken sublingual, meaning under the tongue, in the form of drops. The average individual can safely consume 1,000-5,000 iu through the Winter but be sure to talk with a professional when coming to a dosing and brand decision. Feel free to reach out if you have questions or need recommendations.
You can also get vitamin D through shots. The office is partnering with MN IV, Minnesota’s premier Mobile IV hydration service, to administer the vitamin D shots for $30. This event is limited to 8 individuals so be sure to grab your ticket here