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Yep! Its still winter. Though we haven’t had much snow here in the Northeast, it’s been pretty cold which keeps us indoors. Today, Vitamin D research still gets a lot of attention especially for folks prone to SAD or seasonal affective disorder. Grey skies, lack of sunshine can cause some of us to feel blue.

What is Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a nutrient that is essential for building and maintaining healthy bones. It helps your body absorb calcium, which is the primary component of bone. Vitamin D also regulates many other cellular functions in your body, including immune health, muscle function, and brain cell activity 123.

Why is Vitamin D Deficiency a Problem

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a variety of health problems, including rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. It has also been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, cognitive decline, and depression.

Your body naturally produces vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight. However, many people don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight alone. You can also get vitamin D from fortified milk, fortified cereal, and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines .

What to do if you’re concerned about your Vitamin D levels

If you’re concerned about your vitamin D levels, you can ask your doctor for a simple blood test to check your levels. Taking a multivitamin with vitamin D may help improve bone health.

Many health magazines report on the important role this vitamin plays not only for bone formation, and support for the immune system but also for cancer prevention. Vitamin D, known as the “sunshine” vitamin, needs the sun to activate a form of vitamin D3 under our skin when exposed that sets up a positive biochemical cascade that has many healthful benefits.

Why get your Vitamin D levels tested

If you have the beginning stages of breast, prostate cancer or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) for example, I would highly recommend you get your levels tested. However, I encourage everyone to have their Vitamin D levels tested and if needed to use quality supplementation, especially through the winter months. Besides getting outside and exercising whether walking, skiing, hiking where possible, the outdoors helps us get through the change of season. Too much Vitamin D can be harmful so please start the new year right: know your Vitamin D level.

According to Dr. Mercola, the best blood test to check your Vitamin D levels is: “25(OH)D is the better marker of overall D status. It is this marker that is most strongly associated with overall health.

What foods are high in Vitamin D

Seafood such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring contain higher amounts of D3. For vegan’s and vegetarians, soy milk, almond milk are often fortified with vitamin D. That also includes cereals, orange juice. Check your labels and if you are a vegan get a baseline Vitamin D test done to ensure optimal health.

So get out in the sunshine when possible even if its cold. Nature, fresh air and sunlight have a marvelous way of chasing away the winter blues.

Enjoy your day. Judith

 

 

 

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