Contrary to popular belief (and the term VITAMIN D), Vitamin D is actually a hormone.
It’s status as a hormone might explain the current healthcare emphasis on ensuring your levels are not only adequate, but optimal.
We typically think of Vitamin D in terms of improving bone health because it helps the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorous which are critical for building bone, but there are actually Vitamin D receptors on many of the body’s organs and tissues which suggest important roles beyond just bone health which is an active area of investigation for scientists.
- promoting healthy bones and teeth.
- supporting immune, brain, and nervous system health.
- regulating insulin levels and supporting diabetes management.
- supporting lung function and cardiovascular health.
- influencing the expression of genes involved in cancer development.
Where do I get Vitamin D from?
Sunlight (which means you have to get OUTSIDE–even in the winter). But, to make things a bit more complicated, genetically, some of us are not very efficient at creating Vitamin D from sunlight exposure.
Food - fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, salmon and fish liver oils and some other fortified foods like milk and orange juice that may not be the best choices for all people.
- We often get asked - "do I need a supplement" and the answer is typically the same…”It depends…” each and every individual is different!
- You can get your Vitamin D levels measured. So, go get them measured.
- Once you have that information, you can work with your doctor to decide if you need to supplement to get you to those OPTIMAL levels.
*Spoiler alert: We live in Ohio! Most people could benefit from a Vitamin D supplement at least a few times per week.
As we always recommend, take charge of your own health. Be your own advocate. Know your numbers. Understand that there’s a difference between “normal” and “optimal” in every single health marker out there.
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