Did you know that almost 1 billion people worldwide are deficient in Vitamin D? In the United States alone, 42% of adults have low Vitamin D levels. Did you know that Vitamin D is extremely important for not just your skin, health, and immunity, but also for your bones? Do you know if you are getting enough?
Three ways to tell if you are deficient in Vitamin D
1. Weak Bones or Muscles
It is common knowledge that Vitamin D is beneficial for your bones. In fact, being deficient in Vitamin D leads to an increase of fractures in older adults. Because Vitamin D makes sure that the body absorbs enough calcium and phosphorus, it is touted as being the primary helper in building strong bones. Taking Vitamin D as an older adult may help to prevent serious fractures and broken bones.
You know how after summer, there is a general increase of depressive feelings and sadness? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder that makes people feel depressed during the winter months. This is because after the summer, the amount of sunlight you can get dimishes dramatically. This results in your body producing less serotonin-- which is the body's happiness chemical. This drop of Vitamin D as the days get shorter and people spend less time outdoors, leaves a lot more people prone to depression.
3. Poor Skin Health
The sun is our skin's best friend and worst enemy. On the one had, it provides Vitamin D which, once activated, is essential to skin cell growth, skin repair, and provides the structure necessary to keep your skin moisturized and hydrated. If you want your skin to work properly and stay clean and smooth, you need the Vitamin D from the sun. On the other hand, the UV rays from the sun can harm your skin and even cause skin cancer, not to mention burns and spots. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you get all the benefits and minimize the risks of absorbing Vitamin D from the sun.
Discover the benefits of Vitamin D and how you can make your bones healthier by getting the right combination of this vitamin and herbs to promote your bone health, and help to preserve your bone density.
Vitamin D can travel through your body via your blood circulation and be stored in your body's tissue because it is a fat-soluble vitamin. Did you know that it is the ONLY vitamin that your body can produce on its own? That makes it more of a hormone than a vitamin! All other vitamins that your body needs must be provided through your diet. Since our skin can absorb Vitamin D from sunlight, it is unique and quite fascinating. You can get Vitamin D from supplementation and food sources as well!
So what happens once you body takes in Vitamin D? The liver's chemical processes kick in and allow it to be absorbed into your blood. From there, the blood takes the vitamin to your tissues and also into your kidneys. Being processed by the kidneys activates the Vitamin D and it takes on a new name: Calcitriol. Activated Vitamin D, Calcitriol, supports the absorption of calcium by your blood-- helping it to reach your bones and gut to allow your body to grow and function properly.
With all that it does, there is no doubt that Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for your body. Therefore, it is really important that you ensure that you are getting enough of it daily. However, all the research shows that people are just not getting the amount that they need!
The sun is not the only source of Vitamin D, but it is free and relatively easy to get, right? Actually, it is not as easy as it seems! If you live above the 37 degree latitude line in the United States, you are NOT, I repeat, NOT getting enough Vitamin D from the sun. In fact, outside of the summer months, living above this line means that you are getting little to no Vitamin D for most of the year!
However, it is not just your location that can determine how much Vitamin D you get from the sun. Even in sunny California, there are many people deficient in Vitamin D due to the (necessary) use of sunscreen, and not spending enough time outdoors. Also, the time necessary to get an sufficient amount of sunlight varies from person to person. The darkness of someone's skin, for example, can play a factor as skin pigments act as a natural sun protection. This means that someone with darker skin in the same area would need to spend a lot more time outside than someone with lighter skin. In this case, Vitamin D fortified foods and supplements are viable options.
What can you do if you have a Vitamin D deficiency?
Always consult your doctor first if you feel that your body is not healthy enough and see what their professional assessment is on why you may not be feeling 100%. To alleviate some of your Vitamin D woes on your own, try some of the following:
Vitamin D From Direct Sun Exposure
The middle of the afternoon is when the sun sun is the strongest, and is therefore the best time to get the most out of exposing yourself to direct sunlight. Remember that it is overexposure to the sun that leads to UV damage, so yes, you can go outside without sunscreen (to better absorb the Vitamin D), but be careful to not overdo it.
If you are darker, you will need to spend more time in the sun. Fifteen minutes is the minimal amount of time you need for Vitamin D absorption, but if you have darker skin, you may require up to 90 minutes. Try not to exceed 90 minutes directly in the sun without sun protection.
The more skin you expose, the more Vitamin D you can absorb. The best place to expose yourself to the sun is your forearm. Try to always protect your face (a thorough and efficient skin care routine will always conclude with sun protection) as it will show signs of aging the fastest after being overexposed to the sun.
Do not try to absorb the sun through a window. It blocks UVB and not UVA, so it will only be detrimental to your skin. The sunlight that reaches us is made up of two types of harmful rays: long wave ultraviolet A (UVA) and short wave ultraviolet B (UVB). UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer. Keep that in mind and make sure to get outside for your health! Also, a little fresh air never hurt! Additionally, if you are using sunscreen on your forearms, you are really not doing anything. No Vitamin D can be absorbed by blocking the sun.
Vitamin D From Food
Nearly all cow's milk in the United States is fortified with Vitamin D. However, you need between 400-800 IU (10-20 mcg) per day to really make it count and one 8 oz. glass of milk contains only about 100 IU! Keep in mind that this is what is necessary for people who have some sun exposure. If you are not able to get as much sun, then you'll probably need more. If you are vegan, then it is possible to get extra Vitamin D from mushrooms grown with exposure to UV light.
Vitamin D From Supplementation
When it comes to shopping for a Vitamin D supplement, you'll want to look for D3 (Cholecalciferol) since it is the one that is most chemically similar to what is produced by the body. The US Institute of Medicine suggest that an average daily intake of 400–800 IU, or 10–20 micrograms, is adequate for 97.5% of individuals.
Bone+ by Fusion Naturals
Bone+ not only includes the best form of Vitamin D (cholecalciferol), but it supplies 100% of the daily intake you need at 20 mcg per 2 capsules. Included in this supplement is also Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Calcium, Magnesium, and a proprietary herbal blend. All together, this ensures that you are getting the most efficient, natural booster for your bone health!