Now that the warm sun isn't so warm, it is time to get out your Vitamin D supplements, people!
Vitamin D is vital to your immune system.
Once upon a time, we thought it was just to help keep our bones strong, but we now know that it plays a massive role in our fight against infection.
If you want to geek out with the scientific paper on the how, here you go: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3308600/
This is of particular importance during this pandemic, as Vitamin D is very good at fighting respiratory infection in particular.
Recent studies are showing that patients with Covid-19 and low Vitamin D levels are experiencing more drastic symptoms than those with higher levels.
HERE SOME SHIT I BELIEVE YOU NEED TO KNOW:
1) "Vitamin" D is actually a hormone! Meaning, it is a communicator in our amazing body.
The final product is produced in our kidneys via direct sunlight to our skin.
It involves a whole whack of chemical reactions that you can google if you like, but for now,
know that there are Vitamin D receptors in nearly every cell in the human body.
Meaning, on a cellular level, it's fucking important everywhere!
It helps with calcium absorption, immune function (fighting infections and cancer), depression (dopamine production and serotonin protection), regulating our stress response, obesity, diabetes type 2.....all kinds of stuff.
Amazing little thing, isn't it?
2) We won't get enough in the Fall/Winter so you need to supplement.
In fact, we probably don't get enough in the summer either with the fear of sun damage in our heads. Sunscreen prohibits the absorption of Vitamin D.
The recommended dose is 600-800 IU daily.
The Tolerable Upper Intake Level for adults and children 9+ is 4,000 IU daily (Harvard.edu).
You would be wise and safe to take at least 2,000 IU daily during the colder months, in my humble opinion.
3) It is a FAT SOLUBLE vitamin (hormone).
This means it needs to be eaten with food. Food that has some fat in it.
So, if you are having a salad for lunch and want to take your Vitamin D supplement then - be sure to add avocado to that salad or have oil in your dressing!
4) You can get it in food, but not enough.
Food sources include:
Fatty fish(3 oz. wild salmon = 998 IU/ farmed salmon = 250 IU)
Eggs (1large = 41 IU)
Beef liver (3.5 oz = 50 IU)
Oysters (1 cup = 794 IU)
Most ultraviolet or sundried mushrooms (1/2 cup = 8 IU). Like humans, mushrooms can synthesize this vitamin when exposed to UV light (COOL! However, mushrooms produce vitamin D2, whereas animals produce vitamin D3 which is a more effective form for us humans.)
Fortified cereals, orange juice and dairy products use super shitty, cheap versions of Vitamin D, so I am not adding them to the list.
If you are a skim milk drinker or a fat-free yoghurt eater, you won't absorb the Vitamin D addition anyway, as it needs the fat from milk that isn't present in fat-free dairy products.
Let's face it, we don't eat enough of the foods on this list to get what we need (especially you vegetarians out there!)
So! Go forth and buy your vitamin D supplement! It isn't super expensive.
The best are liquid form or in an oil base (keep in the fridge or a cool, dark place).
But go with something that you know you will take daily.
If placing drops onto a spoon every day will stop you from taking it, buy the pill instead.
Let's stay as healthy as we can and give our bodies what it needs whenever possible!