Low vitamin D intake is considered a major public health concern across the globe. In fact, vitamin D deficiency is estimated to affect almost 50% of the population worldwide. An estimated 1 billion people worldwide, across all ethnicities and age groups, have a vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin d is actually what?
Contrary to popular belief, vitamin D is not a vitamin nor a nutrient, but a hormone produced by the body in the skin from a photolytic reaction with ultraviolet light. This is important to note because it means vitamin D has a deeper functionality than a simple vitamin compound.
Vitamin D is essential for regulating hundreds of different pathways in your body. Other than thyroid hormones, it is the only thing every single one of our trillions of cells needs to thrive. Vitamin D helps us maintain healthy teeth, a healthy brain, and a healthy nervous system, as well as strengthen immune defenses.
Since vitamin D is needed by every cell regardless of its specific function you can begin to see how important it is. Low levels of vitamin D can lead to a multitude of negative health effects including hormone imbalance, poor brain health, and so much more. Our body’s ability to make this vitamin also declines with age, which doesn’t help.
Optimized vitamin D levels have been linked to:
– Improved mood and mental cognition
– Increased immune function
– Reduction of inflammatory responses
– Reduced risk of osteoporosis
– Reduced rates of most cancers
– Lowered rates of diabetes
– Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease
– Lowered risk of anxiety
– Decreased levels of depression and seasonal affective disorder
– Lowered risk of autoimmune disorders
Vitamin D is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because our bodies produce it from exposure to sunlight. Our bodies absorb sunlight through cholesterol which helps convert it to a usable form for our bodies. Vitamin D is classified as a fat-soluble vitamin. This and other fat-soluble vitamins are dissolved in fat and therefore need to be paired with other healthy fats to be bioavailable. Some of the most abundant sources of vitamin D are:
– Cod liver oil: 1 teaspoon: 440 IU (over 100% Daily Value)
– Salmon: 3 ounces: 400 IU (100% Daily Value)
– Mackerel: 3 ounces: 400 IU (100% Daily Value)
– Tuna: 3 ounces: 228 IU (57% Daily Value)
– Sardines: 3 ounces: 164 IU (41% Daily Value)
– Organic eggs: 1 large: 41 IU (10% Daily Value)
– Caviar: 1 ounce: 33 IU (8% Daily Value)
– Mushrooms: 1 cup: 2 IU (1% Daily Value)
You can get vitamin D from three places: sun, food, and supplements. Unfortunately, most of us don’t get enough vitamin D from food and the sun, which leaves us with the need for additional supplementation.
We’ve got your back
This is why we’re so happy to introduce our new vitamin D supplement, Shine 5000, which is an ultra-concentrated dose of 5000 IU of D3 in a single soft gel. It’s designed to quickly replenish vitamin D status, perfect if you are dealing with a deficiency, are looking to take it less frequently, or just have higher vitamin D requirements. Shine is also solubilized in oil for better absorption in the digestive tract.
It’s always a good idea to get tested by your doctor to check your vitamin D levels. Both too little, and too much, vitamin D can be a bad thing, so finding that ideal range is best. Doctors run a test that looks for 25-hydroxy-vitamin-D or 25(0H)D for short. It’s both the name of the test and what they’re looking for.
Functional Medicine doctors often recommend raising your ng/ml preferably between 60 and 70. Getting the amount of vitamin D needed without supplementation can be challenging (or almost impossible depending on your location), which is where supplementation comes in. Remember to be patient and consistent as correcting a vitamin D deficiency can take 6 to 12 months.
Written by Hannah Aylward
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