Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Vitamin D

It's winter----freezing cold, snowy, and dark in many parts of the country. What do you do differently to maintain your health and wellness throughout the winter?

I hope you didn't say nothing :)

If you did, think about Vitamin D for a moment to demonstrate that you might need to make some adjustments at this time of year. This fat soluble vitamin is important for organ health, calcium and phospherous absorption (and re-absorption), supports healthy thyroid function, and protects against tumors.
"Vitamin D malnutrition may also be linked to an increased susceptibility to several chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, tuberculosis, cancer, periodontal disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, seasonal affective disorder, peripheral artery disease, and several autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes. There is an association between low vitamin D levels and Parkinson's disease, but whether Parkinson's causes low vitamin D levels, or whether low vitamin D levels play a role in the pathogensis of Parkinson's disease has not been established (Wikipedia)."

Did you know there are very few dietary sources of Vitamin D? It is found naturally in fatty fish, such as salmon, and mostly in fortified foods, such as milks, yogurts, and cereals. Most of our Vitamin D intake occurs through sun exposure---and at this time of year, that is almost non-existent for many of us.

What is the solution?
-You could go tanning---but if you do, it should be a recommendation from your doctor, meaning your Vit D levels are so low it's worth the risk.
-You can eat more fortified foods (check labels)
-You can take a supplement
-If your mood is negatively affected by reduced Vitamin D, you can use a Happy Light (full-spectrum)--just note that its important research the brand you buy as the industry is not closely regulated (but can be kind of expensive).

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