Chances are, if you spent your summer in Toronto, you didn’t get a whole lot of sun this year. It may have saved us on our sunscreen budget, but it means not-so-good things for our Vitamin D levels.
Generally in Canada, we have 3-4 months where we can soak up enough rays, but this year we had more like 3-4 weeks. So what does that mean for us heading into the winter months?
What Happens When We Don’t Get Enough Vitamin D?
If you’re feeling exceptionally tired, have “the blahs”, are experiencing muscle fatigue, getting stress fractures, or are having hormonal issues, you might be low in Vitamin D.
What a long list! But this powerhouse vitamin is one of the most important ones for our overall health. Let’s break it down:
- Bones – it helps with the absorption of calcium and phosphorus
- Immunity – facilitates immune system function
- Hormones – deficiency can lead to low estrogen in women, and low testosterone in men
- Mental Health – it activates the genes that release dopamine and serotonin. As a result, many depressive symptoms are linked to Vitamin D levels, especially in relation to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Getting A Jump On Things
There’s a reason why Seasonal Affective Disorder always seems to settle in around February. We store Vitamin D for about 6 months at a time, and February is when our summer stores start to deplete. That’s why now is the PERFECT time to start supplementing again.
There are three things you need to know about choosing a Vitamin D supplement:
- Vitamin D2 or D3? While D2 is the vegan form of Vitamin D, D3 is 87% more potent, meaning you can take less to get the same effect
- Liquid or pills? Because D is a fat-soluble vitamin, the liquid form is considered superior, as the vitamin is already suspended in oil. It is also more easily absorbed in liquid form.
- How much should you take? The official government guidelines recommend 1000 IU, so that’s what we OFFICIALLY recommend. Many people, however, under the supervision of their healthcare practitioner, take 4000 IU per day for maximum health benefit. As always, discuss your supplement dosage with a trained professional.
Come and Get It!
We’ve got a variety of supplements for the whole family, available now. If you need help choosing the one that’s right for you, just ask!
About The Author:
Kelly Boaz, CNP
Kelly is a holistic nutritionist, specializing in eating disorder recovery and food freedom. She is also a public speaker (TEDx King St. West, TDSB) and a writer. Learn more about Kelly, and about booking private consultations at kellyboaz.com Twitter: @kelly_boaz Facebook: /KellyBoazDotCom