“Get out in the sun and get your daily dose of Vitamin D.”  We have all heard this before but do we all really get the right amounts of this important nutrient?  The answer in a lot of cases is probably no.  It takes upwards of 30 minutes of direct sun exposure, to the skin, 2-3 times a week for the body to produce sufficient amounts of Vitamin D.  The problem with this is the harsh UV rays can damage the skin. Also, even with sufficient exposure to sunlight, vitamin D breaks down quickly so you can become deficient in a short period of time.  A few other factors that can affect the body’s ability to produce enough Vitamin D include: the latitude at which you live, pollution levels, use of sunscreen, dark skin, working at night, or being primarily indoors.  If you can’t get enough vitamin D from your diet or the sunlight, then supplementing vitamin D can be a great solution for anyone that fits into one of those groups.  Before we look further into supplementing vitamin D, let’s take a look at why this vitamin is so important.

Vitamin D plays many roles in the body. One of the main functions it plays is helping the body absorb calcium and promote bone growth.  This is extremely important in both the developing bones of children and older adults.  It is also important for athletes to help prevent, and recover from, injuries to the bones. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to depression, weight gain, cancer, decreased energy levels, a slowed immune system, and hair loss.  As with most nutrients in the body, a balanced diet can usually supply enough.  However, most western diets are nutrient deficient and if you are not willing to risk the UV rays to get enough sun exposure, then supplementation might be the right avenue. 

Let’s take a look at how much vitamin D a person needs.  A 2011 report from the Institute of Medicine breaks it down as follows.  Vitamin D amounts are listed in IU (international unit). 

As far as foods that have high amounts of vitamin D, the following are good options.

  1. Wild Caught Salmon
  2. Mackeral, tuna, sardines
  3. Cheese
  4. Egg Yolks
  5. Mushrooms
  6. Fortified milk or other dairy products

Vitamin D is extremely important for any lifestyle to maintain proper health.  There are a multitude of vitamin D supplements on the market.  However, it can be difficult to ensure that what it says on the bottle is actually represented in each product.  At CAN, all of our products are third party tested by NSF to ensure that purity and potency are accurate.  If you are in need of a boost in vitamin D and are looking for a great supplement, check out Klean Athlete, Nordic Naturals, and Thorne Research on our website. 

Tags: Vitamin D
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