sun What research is showing: Winter’s is officially here! Be Prepared to SMILE you’re way through those short days and long nights… Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is produced by the body in response to sunlight. It also occurs naturally in a few foods: fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks, fortified dairy and certain grains. Obtaining sufficient Vitamin D from natural foods alone is difficult. For most people consuming Vitamin D-fortified foods and being exposed to sunlight are essential for healthy Vit D status and dietary supplements might very well be required to meet your daily need for D. Supplementation of Vitamin D is a vital addition to your wellness. This is our favorite way to supplement: Nature’s Answer Liquid Vit D. What does Vitamin D do? Vitamin D is essential for strong BONES. It’s absorbed through the gut and helps the body use the calcium you get from your diet to keep your bones healthy and strong. In adults Vitamin D deficiency can lead to weak bones, bone pain and muscle weakness. This deficiency can be subtle and go undetected in the initial stages. MOOD. Most of us feel or have heard about this. Have you ever felt amazing on a summer vacation? Yes it is the time away form computers and phones, relaxation, increased sleep and you got it – Vitamin D from the sunshine! Increasingly research is revealing the importance of Vitamin D in protecting you against a host of health problems including: modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function. It is a vital contributor to fertility and reduction of inflammation. What is Vitamin D Deficiency? The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that current averages are far below the levels we need to thrive and maintain health. Cloud cover and shade – including due to pollution, glass windows, and sunscreens with SPF of 8 or more all block skin absorption of Vitamin D. – Growing up. As we age our needs for Vitamin D increase because the skin cannot synthesize Vitamin D as efficiently. – Limited light exposure. Winter light, sunscreen and spending much of our time indoors at work and driving all contribute to low levels of Vitamin D. – Compromised intestinal absorption. Inflammatory bowel, overweight, celiac, chrones and other digestive issues decrease the gut’s ability to absorb fat and because Vitamin D is fat soluble and absorbed through digestion this require supplementation. How do you know if Vitamin D supplementation is right for you? Chances are we can all use Vitamin D supplementation, especially in the winter months. We think the proof is in the fortified pudding, or, supplement. Try it and see if you don’t have the best winter yet. To accurately determine how much Vitamin D you should take the best thing to do is get a blood test. A maintenance level of D for most people is 2000 IU/day. Talk to your health care provider about the best amount for you.