In my sunscreen post, I talked about sunscreens causing a deficiency in Vitamin D that can lead to diseases. So I wanted to talk about how important vitamin D is to us.
If you haven't heard already, Vitamin D is actually a hormone because it has binding proteins that carries it to target organ which in turn respond to it. But it is called a vitamin nonetheless. It is called the "sunshine vitamin" because that is our best source. There are food sources but they don't compare to the sun. Food sources include: salmon, sardines, mackerel, shrimp, cod, eggs and fortified foods. I wouldn't go with the fortified foods because they are usually highly processed.
We need to get unprotected sun for about 10-15 minutes per day between 10:00 and 2:00 pm during the months mid-March through mid -September (in NJ) to get the benefits. The average amount produced during this time is 15,000 - 20,000 IU's and because it is a natural source when you have had enough sun, the body starts to break down the precursor of vitamin D so you are no longer producing activated vitamin D. This benefit of does not happen when supplementing or using fortified foods. Isn't the body amazing?
A simple blood test from your doctor will tell you if you need to supplement. Conventional recommendations are to have levels between 35-50 ng/ml, but functional medicine says it should be higher - between 50 - 80 ng/ml. The average blood levels when tested are usually below 35 ng/ml.
So, to get back on topic, we are using sunscreen ALL the time and creating an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. This is not good because Vitamin D affects every cell of our body!
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms
What does Vitamin D do?
Have you had your Vitamin D levels tested lately?
The Vitamin D Solution, Michael F. Holick Ph.D,