Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND
It is not unusual to start feeling the lows during our long winter months. Even though it has not been as cold as other years, the lack of sunlight can definitely be a cause for depression, low immune system, and in general, an overall sense of aches, pains and malaise.
With lack of sunlight the one vitamin that gets the most affected is our vitamin D levels.
If there is one vitamin that you need to take during the winter months, it is Vitamin D. Vitamin D works as an anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-septic, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and even as an anti-cancer agent. It is also known to boost the immune system to fight infections, and help boost brain health.
Consider the following facts:
- Topical sunscreens block vitamin D production by 97-100%.
- The risk of having a heart attack is twice as high if your levels of Vitamin D are low
- There is an association between vitamin D deficiency and increased risk of type 1 diabetes
- Medications such as Metformin (for diabetes) work only 13% of the time if your vitamin D levels are low vs 60% of the time if you have adequate levels of Vitamin D
- We can decrease the progression of osteoarthritis with adequate levels of vitamin D
- Symptoms of multiple sclerosis are more severe if your vitamin D is low
- If your vitamin D levels are low, then you will have higher risk of dying of cancer!!
So do you think we need to measure vitamin D levels? Absolutely!!!
Recent studies show that in order to receive the best levels of protection our blood vitamin D levels should be about 120-200 nmol/l. I personally don’t like to recommend cod liver oil as a vitamin D supplement because it also contain Vitamin A and too much vitamin A taken for long periods of time can cause health problems. I prefer to recommend a liquid emulsified vitamin D which you can easily find in your local health food store.