Vitamin D has been the hot topic in health and nutrition lately, and your chiropractor can help you sort through some of the contradictory information. As a vitamin, D is unique in the fact that it is actually a steroid hormone. We manufacture vitamin D in our bodies when our skin is exposed to sufficient sunlight. With only 10-15 minutes of sunlight exposure, we can produce more than 10,000 i.u. (international units) of vitamin D. It is harder to get adequate sunlight for vitamin D production when living in the northern United States. In recent years, vitamin D has also become readily available in supplement form.
Vitamin D is best known as the bone vitamin. It is needed in our bodies to effectively use calcium and phosphorus, which in turn makes strong bones. Vitamin D is responsible for much more than this. Not only is vitamin D absolutely necessary for normal bone growth it is needed for preventing rickets, regulating other important processes in our bodies including cell division, digestion, immunity and reproduction, and balancing the calcium in our body to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis. More recently, studies have shown that low vitamin D levels play a role in Alzheimers, cancer, diabetes and other inflammatory diseases. Two common symptoms that indicate you may be low in vitamin D are fatigue and frequent illnesses (indicating a weakened immune system),
Research shows that 1 in every 10 children in the United States is deficient in Vitamin D, and almost the same percentage of adults are, too. This is ridiculous when it is SO easy to get the proper amount of Vitamin D that your body requires. While people need to be careful about sunburn, it is safe for most people to go out in the sun for 10-15 minutes/day to get their vitamin D. In fact, your body is designed to manufacture vitamin D from sunlight. After that, applying sunscreen can prevent sunburn which is a known risk factor for skin cancer. It is best to use an organic sunscreen available at many health food stores and chiropractic clinics.
Another source for getting the body the vitamin D it needs is through vitamin D rich foods. Good sources include fish, cod liver oil, eggs and milk. For other dietary recommendations and/or to obtain a quality vitamin D supplement, you should consult with your chiropractor. Most offer nutritional consultations and sell supplements in their clinic.
Author: Michelle Caron