Just when I was chirping about the sun’s grace a few blogs ago, it went and disappeared on us for these past few days here in LA! It is has been cloudy, a little bit misty, but still warm. Quite cozy actually… but definitely not sunny!
So where the heck is my Vitamin D?? Vitamin D is a very important nutrient that we must ensure we are getting in adequate levels of all the essential vitamins. It helps our body’s uptake and absorption of calcium, helps build strong bones and teeth, can prevent rickets, and may be helpful in preventing such issues as heart disease, IBS and rheumatoid arthritis, among other things. Unfortunately, many Americans are deficient in this important nutrient.
I am definitely of the opinion that the best way to get Vitamin D is naturally through sunlight right on our skin for a few minutes every day, sans sunscreen. The food sources for Vitamin D are slim pickins.’ It exists is small amounts in the flesh of certain fish such as salmon and tuna (served up along with a portion of toxins like mercury and PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, which are synthetic chemicals!), egg yolks and beef liver (nasty!!!). You can be sure I won’t be counting on any of those foods for my Vitamin D! But what I find extremely misleading and downright tricky is when we see foods such as milk saying they are “fortified with Vitamin D”. I’ve had some of my clients tell me they drink milk, and give it to their children, “for the Vitamin D.” Big business marketing at its finest!
Commercial milk is in fact fortified with synthetic Vitamin D, aka D2. Vitamin D2 is different from Vitamin D3, which is the natural form for us humans, by way of an unsaturated side-chain. D2 is derived from the irradiation of ergosterol, which is a vegetable sterol found in yeasts and ergot. D2 is not fully compatible with our bodies, and we should not believe that our nutritional needs are being met for Vitamin D by consuming “fortified” foods.
Yes back to my first thought- and the reason I was musing about this blog in the first place. Where’s my Vitamin D?? Cocky little me just last week was talking about how I make a point to get into the sun every day for a few minutes. Ha! You would think I lived in LA my whole life, right? :) Alas, I am actually a displaced New Yorker at the moment! How quickly we can forget that for many of us, sunlight is simply not available for much of the year.
If sunlight is not available every day, and especially for long stretches of time, you can consider supplementation. Be sure to purchase a form of Vitamin D supplement that is D3, and not the synthetic D2. Be sure to check with your doctor or get your blood levels tested to determine the right amount for you. You don’t want to overdose on supplementation! For more information on this, definitely check out my other blog: The Supplement We All Need. But if the sun does poke its bright head out, get thee to the light! Even my office friends can try to roll up your sleeves and sneak out for lunch and into the light for a few minutes!
Lots of love,