The winter months are challenging for many of us - the cold, less time outside, shorter days ...
Seasonal affective disorder, also known as the winter blues/blahs, is for real and spending less time in the Sun is in big part as to why Vitamin D levels and our moods are affected. Vitamin D plays an important role in mood and immune function and a deficiency of it has even been linked now to over 10 different types of cancer, including breast, colon and kidney.
What to look for in a Vit D Supplement …
There is a huge range of quality in over-the-counter nutritional supplements. Be sure to use the most effective forms of Vitamin D absorption wise so you get the benefits. For adults without osteporosis and for kids I recommend D-Mulsion drops from Seroyal. It’s around $20 for a bottle, is super easy to take and this form is readily available. There is another D-Mulsion supplement that comes with K2( a cofactor in bone building) that is a good choice when extra support is needed in terms of bone health.
How much should I take?
How much Vit D3 to take depends on the individual. If blood levels are under 75 it is common to go higher (5,000 iu and up) and monitor. I take 2, 000 iu/day preventatively and my kids take 1, 000 iu We increase it short term during a cold (Vit D has anti-viral properties it turns out too!).
Fun fact …
Did you know that the more skin tone you have the more chance you are deficient in vitamin D? At first this didn’t make sense to me as more skin tone is associated of course with sunnier climates but that’s just it. When we are from warmer, sunnier climates we are getting all that sun exposure so it serves us to block the Sun’s effects a bit more with the increased pigment. But when we live in less sunny, northern climates the increased skin tone that served to protect our skin from too much Sun results in decreased production of the Vitamin D we need for our mood, bones and immune system. So the more tone, the increased chance of needing to build up stores with supplementation.
Take home: Vitamin D is a commonly deficient nutrient that will go a long way to help you feel yourself and stay healthy this Winter and in the long term.
FYI - If you are unable to get your Vit D levels checked by your MD and are interested in knowing where your levels are at, there is an option currently for your Naturopathic Doctor to order this blood test for you at a reasonable cost.