Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts To Staying Healthy This Winter: 4. Do Take Vitamin D3!

By Dr. Sharon Gurm

An alarming amount of studies are indicating Vitamin D deficiency is a global issue! This fat-soluble “vitamin” is actually a hormone (!), with receptors of its active form 1,25(OH) D (1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D or D3) on virtually every tissue and cell type in the body with physiological effects as diverse as the tissue. Its marriage to Calcium in the importance of bone health earned D3 it’s reputation as the “bone vitamin,” but just as Calcium has an immense range of roles in the body, it is no surprise that D3 is proven to be to be involved in almost every physiological process in the body and linked to an increased risk of a myriad of health issues and diseases, ranging from depression to cancer.

Vitamin D is produced by our skin cells after exposure to UVB radiation in sunlight and can also be attained from a few food sources or supplementation. After processing in the liver and kidney, the active form of D3 is produced and acts on cell receptors. But, even in our best Vancouver weather, advent outdoor enthusiasts – even those not wearing sunscreen – are STILL deficient! With good reason, it is speculated that our indoor lifestyle is a huge factor in the global deficiency. Locally, being in the northern hemisphere puts us at greater risk for deficiency because we get inadequate intensity of UVB due to the angle of the sun. All of these factors are leading to the widespread clinical recommendation to supplement our diets with D3 to support all aspects of our health.

What to know:

  • Vitamin D is NOT just the “bone vitamin”
  • Receptors for D3 (active form) are present on virtually every tissue type!
  • Low 1,25 (OH) D levels are associated with increased risk for neurological and cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and autoimmune disorders
  • If you can’t get D3-forming Midday sun, supplement!
  • Even if you get “sufficient” sunshine, you are probably deficient (get checked!)
  • For most, approximately 2,000 IU/day for optimal cell function (but more if you are deficient!)

Especially with the return of our dreary, dark winter Vancouver weather, a few drops of D3 a day will put you on your way to better health and a stronger immune system! Ensure that your cells are working optimally and schedule in to get your 1,25(OH)D blood levels checked. It’s as easy as adding it to your next blood panel or a simple finger prick.

Let us help you on your path to better health, call our clinic @ 604-949-0077 to book an appointment.

References

Plaut D, McLellan W. Vitamin D. J. Cont. Ed., 2011;(13): 6-9

http://www.vitamindday.net/

http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2013/aug2013_The-Overlooked-Importance-of-Vitamin-D-Receptors_01.htm

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