Vitamin D In The Winter

Vitamin D is extremely important for a number of physiological processes in the body. Specifically, it is needed for growth, protects against muscle weakness, is required for regulation of heartbeat and is necessary for proper thyroid function and normal blood clotting. It also helps protect against breast and colon cancer, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and enhances immunity.

There are several forms of Vitamin D, however D3 is thought to be the natural form and most active, although more recent research has shown that D2 is just as effective as D3. Vitamin D that you take in a supplement or through food is not considered fully active. It is required to be processed by the liver and then the kidneys to become fully active.

Studies show that at least 40% of people have less than optimal levels of Vitamin D in their blood. Those with colored skin, have a harder time absorbing Vitamin D from sunlight. In addition, people who live above the 37th latitude (THAT'S US) obtain virtually no Vitamin D from sunlight between November and March.

Vitamin D can be found in fish, dairy products, eggs, butter, dandelion greens, oatmeal, shiitake mushrooms, oysters and sweet potatoes.

Some common symptoms of low Vitamin D levels in the winter include: getting sick often, fatigue, seasonal depression, hair loss and even pain. If you happen to be experiencing any of these, please consider adding some of the delicious foods listed above into your diet or take to your provider about a high quality Vitamin D supplement.

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