Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bundled Up? What about Vitamin D

Brrrr! This winter has been brutal. And, probably not more than your nose has seen some sun for weeks. Ever stopped to wonder what your vitamin D status is lately?

Why care about Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is important for calcium metabolism and thus is needed for healthy teeth and bones. It's also important for skin cell regeneration - yep, vitamin D may keep you looking beautiful too! Still need more? Consider that research has linked low levels of vitamin D in many disease states including heart attacks in men; and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported a study concluding vitamin D reduced the risk of cancer in women.

How Much?
Good question - various sources will give you different answers as scientists around the world are still piecing together the full vitamin D story. But, if you live in Canada this winter it's a good bet you're not getting enough vitamin D from sunlight exposure. Supplementation guidelines for vitamin D range but 1,000 IUs seems to be the standard from most health organizations and practitioners - it's worth talking to a health care professional for advice, or do some research to see what's best for your personal situation.

My Confession - My daughter was born in the late summer so we spent our first winter with her giving her vitamin D drops... and because it was just easy, I'd drop some on my tongue too. Then, my son arrived and more vitamin D drops. Yep, as you can imagine life is busy in our house. So, for simplicity I've been putting vitamin D drops in our morning shakes along with our essential oils and probiotics - its nice to start the day knowing we've already consumed the nutrients that we're not likely to get in the foods we eat for the rest of the day.

Want to read the studies...

Giovannucci, E et al. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Men: A Prospective Study. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(11):1174-1180.

Lappe JM et al. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial1,2 Am J Clin Nutr June 2007 vol. 85 no. 6 1586-1591.

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