Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Vitamin D: THE Must have Vitamin

It seems like every week there is a new and improved supplement coming to the market to fix this, improve that, help you lose weight or reduce how fast your aging.  All these supplements seem to go away as quickly as they came to market and never quite produce the results they promised.

This is where we believe you have to come "Back to Basics" and look at what has been found to be one of the most vital vitamins to your general health and beyond.  Vitamin D is one of, if not the, most important vitamins that you will want to look into supplementing.  

This vitamin unfortunately isn't one that comes readily available in most of of our food (it is possible) and our main way of getting enough is to be out in the sun for a decent amount of time, and with plenty of skin exposure.  Skin exposure is essential as we create most of our vitamin D through the interaction of UV B light waves and a cholesterol derivative in the skin that then synthesizes vitamin D.  Recommendations for time outside of this synthesis to occur varies but upwards of 20-30 minutes is the baseline.  While having plenty of skin exposed amy not be difficult in the summer it has to be a daily process.  This can be hard with our indoor lifestyle of work and play and also because we wear clothes.  It gets especially difficult in the winter due to cooler temperatures and complete lack of skin exposure.

Vitamin D is a big component in general health as it modulates immune function and inflammation.  This can all result in your being sick less.  It also plays a huge role in health and performance by assisting in calcium metabolism and bone formation.  Most athletes tend to be vitamin D deficient and this can impair muscle function due to it's ability to assist in protein synthesis and muscle growth.  Mitochondrial function is also vastly assisted by vitamin D and if levels are low it can be a significant factor in fatigue in both athletes and non-athletes.

The importance of vitamin D stretches beyond general health and sports performance.  I recent research article has found the possibility that low serum levels of vitamin D are associated with significant symptoms of depression in otherwise healthy individuals.

Continue on the importance of Vitamin D below:

"Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency occur at high rates in healthy young women, and lower vitamin d3 levels are related to clinically significant depressive symptoms," says the researchers, led by David Kerr, PhD, School of Psychological Science, College of Liberal Arts, Oregon State University, Corvallis.

The benefits of having adequate vitamin D are far reaching.  Ideally we would be able to get all our vitamin D synthesized from UV B light but it can be hard in living situations.  Supplementation is a great alternative and vitamin D happens to be as cheap as they come and will give you a ton of value for the money.

Recommendation Doses: Vitamin D
-Vitamin D Council: 1000 IU per 25 pounds of body weight per day.
-Short term megadoses are quite safe as a healthy human utilizes 3000-10000 IU of vitamin D per day.
-Megadoses work great as you're getting sick or if you will have stressful times such as traveling.  I generally up my dose for those couple days to 2000 IU per 25 pounds of body weight per day.

It is recommended to take it in the morning to help get your day started and due to the fact that it is inversely related to melatonin and can cause you trouble sleeping at night.

Sinha A, Hollingsworth KG, Ball S, Cheetham T. Improving the vitamin d status of vitamin d deficient adults is associated with improved mitochondrial oxidative function in skeletal muscle. Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Mar;98(3):E509-13. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-3592. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

Asprey, Dave.  The Bulletproof Diet. 2014.

Davenport, Liam.  Vitamin D Levels Predict Depression.  Medscape.  2015.

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