Vitamin D is my number 1 supplement! Another winter in the midwest, where the sun doesn’t shine has left me with suboptimal Vitamin D levels. Yes, I went to my doctor and got a blood test. My levels were considered to be suboptimal. 😦
Why?!? Living in a northern state is a risk factor for becoming vitamin D deficient. The most common way to get Vitamin D is through the sun. There’s little sun to be found here in Chicago during the winter months.
Fun Fact: The body area that absorbs Vit D (from the sun) the best is the stomach! (Guess its time for a trip to the beach!)
Since, I would like to avoid becoming Vitamin D deficient, I’ve upped my vitamin D intake. I regularly eat foods fortified with Vitamin D such as milk, orange juice, tofu, and cereal; but apparently this was not enough for me. During the winter months, I’ll have to take a Vitamin D supplement. I have found that I like the chewy gummy options; they’re like candy. 🙂
Why is Vitamin D important? Vitamin D is necessary for proper bone growth. It also helps maintain calcium levels and assists in the bone remodeling. Not having enough Vit D3 can increase the risk of autoimmmune diseases, and nonskeletal chronic diseases. More concerning is that Vitamin D can also impact immunity, muscle function, and inflammation status.
How much? Most sources recommend supplementing with around 1,000-2,000 IU, but be sure check with your health care provider.Good food sources of vitamin D include egg yolks (see the omelette), dairy, orange juice, and cereals.
References: Dunford M, Coleman EJ. Ergogenic aids, dietary supplements, and exercise. In: Rosenbloom CA, Coleman EJ, eds. Sports Nutrition: A Practice Manual for Professionals. 5th ed. Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; 2012:128.