What IS Vitamin D?First off, vitamin D really isn’t a vitamin at all. When it was first discovered, researchers didn’t know what to call it, but knew it was essential for health, so it got labeled a “vitamin.” Vitamin D is actually a secosteroid, a building block for hormones. Vitamin D plays a critical role in sexual function, bone health, regulation of mood, immune function, growth, and helps to reduce chronic inflammation.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, depression and obesity, to name a few. A recent study in the Journal of Cardiology found that 70% of the 10,000 participants were Vitamin D deficient. Why is this so?
What Type of Supplement?
There are two forms of Vitamin D to choose from, D-2 and D-3. D-2 is cheaper and more available. It is found in Lucky Charms as well as the vitamin department at Wal Mart. It is not absorbed well in the body which means that you are putting more in your toilet than in your system.
You should supplement with a liquid form of Vitamin D-3. I use Vitamin D-3 drops because they are quick and easy. Here is the brand I use. Since Vitamin D-3 is a fat soluble vitamin, it should be accompanied with some fat for better absorption. I just take it with my daily fish oil supplements. In the winter, I supplement with 4,000 IUs per day to keep my levels good. During the spring and summer months, I supplement depending on my activities. I supplement on work days since I’m stuck inside adjusting patients (or writing blog posts :-)). However, when the weekend comes and I’m planning on hitting the West Michigan beaches, I skip those days.
If you are unsure as to whether or not you need to supplement with Vitamin D, you can order a simple blood test in your doctor’s office. If you are deficient, get some sun or get some Vitamin D drops. Your body will thank you.