D-Fend Your Health this Winter

Posted on: November 15th, 2017 by carepro

There’s something about being outside on a bright sunny day that just makes people feel good. We tend to feel more energized, we don’t get sick as much, and we might even smile a little bit more. Research is showing that a nice sunny day may do even more for our health, especially when it comes to preventing age-related diseases – all because of a compound we call Vitamin D. So far, Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in virtually all diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mood disorders, poor immune function, and osteoporosis.

What Makes Vitamin D So Important?
One reason Vitamin D status influences so many diseases is that it is not a typical vitamin – in fact, Vitamin D is a hormone synthesized naturally by your skin when it is exposed to sunlight. When scientists wanted to know which organs required the most Vitamin D, they looked at which organs had the most receptors for Vitamin D. What they discovered was that virtually all organ systems in the body had relatively high concentrations of Vitamin D receptors, meaning it was important for all of them!

Why You Might Be Deficient in Vitamin D
The most significant source of Vitamin D comes from production in skin when it is exposed to sunlight, specifically UVB light (not UVA). Unfortunately, we know that excessive exposure to sunlight can also lead to deadly skin cancers like melanoma, so many of us try to avoid direct sunlight by staying indoors, wearing protective clothing, or by using sunscreens. While these are effective methods to prevent skin cancer, they are also effective at decreasing the amount of active Vitamin D in your body. People with darker skin tones will require more sunlight than those with light complexions to produce the same amount of Vitamin D.

There is also a phenomena called “Vitamin D Winter” that refers to the complete loss of Vitamin D producing sunlight during winter months as you get further from the equator.  The angle of the sunlight in winter months creates a situation where it has to pass through more of the atmosphere before reaching your skin and this filters out all of the UVB light necessary for producing Vitamin D.  Never mind the fact that the days are shorter and people typically are bundled up in cold-weather clothes, but even if you were getting sunlight on your skin it would be incapable of producing Vitamin D.

If you are not getting Vitamin D from sunlight, your other sources are limited to dietary sources like cold water fish (salmon/tuna), dairy, eggs, mushrooms, liver, fortified foods, or dietary supplements.

Supplementing Vitamin D
While it is extremely rare, it is possible to get too much Vitamin D from supplements which can result in too much calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia). For this reason, it is important to work with your healthcare provider and monitor your blood levels while supplementing Vitamin D to find the dose that works for you.

If you have any questions or concerns about Vitamin D, talk to your pharmacist or physician. You can also stop in to your local CarePro Pharmacy with questions, and our pharmacists are happy to answer your questions – connect with us today!

Come to CarePro Pharmacy in November and save 20% on Vitamin D!

Source: Viniferamine; lessons from vini
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