Sunshine and Vitamin D

Sunshine in Pittsburgh means summertime is near. It’s almost bikini season, a time to get outside to enjoy the outdoors and for me, it provides one more way to get Vitamin D by soaking up the sun. According to numerous health bloggers and tweeters, this is one vitamin that people who live in a “grey weather locations” are particularly in need of bolstering.

I moved from the West Coast to the East Coast for college. Pittsburgh sucked me in as it does with so many others, and I decided to stay. Although I’ve found myself falling in love with the charm of the city of bridges, when winter is near, I find myself dreading the thought of never-ending string of gray days. This past year, as the gloomy gray made its way into the city, I decided this would be the year I began taking Vitamin D supplements to fight the winter blues.

Vitamin D is a rockstar supplement. As I researched more about the supplement, I found that it is more than just a mood booster. Vitamin D is fundamental to keeping bones healthy and it plays a role in increasing immunity from the seasonal cold.

Recently, studies (http://todayspractitioner.com/immune-health/vitamin-d-rda-too-low-by-ten-fold/) have found that the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is not enough. I’m not much of a dairy person and so in place of getting Vitamin D from milk, I believed that soaking up the sun was all I needed. Meanwhile, my bones and brain want are consistently running on low.

Instead of 600 IU/day through age 70 years, and 800 IU/day for older ages,
Robert Heaney, M.D., of Creighton University, is calling the NAS-IOM and all public health authorities to increase the RDA to a value of approximately 2,000-4,000 IU/day from all sources.

The School of Public Health at Harvard University (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/) announced that now, even in industrialized countries, doctors are seeing the resurgence of rickets, a bone-weakening disease that, in the past, was mostly eradicated through Vitamin D fortification (enriching foods with Vitamin D).

Being deficient in Vitamin D can increase the likelihood of many chronic diseases, leading to constant inflammation of the body. And inflammation for any period of time is not good. These chronic diseases cover the spectrum of osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer and others. A lack of Vitamin D can also increase the chance of getting the seasonal cold or flu.

Be informed. Take charge of your health and learn more about small steps you can take to live a healthier lifestyle. Visit Dr. Bailey to learn more about what your body may need. Dr. Bailey’s Metagenics Store is also a great place to view different supplements and make your Vitamin D purchase.

Live Well!