Okay, so I know this is nerdy but I’m super proud of how punny that title is. (Get it?! vitamin D comes from light! Delightful! Hahahaha okay I’m done.)
Seattle has officially begun Fall. It is GRAY. Daily. All day. All week. It’s also getting dark out earlier and staying dark later. A few weeks ago it was sunny all the time, now it’s literally the opposite.
This has a big effect on our vitamin D levels (a major source of vitamin D is sunlight!). In fact, even if you don’t live in Seattle, many people in the world are deficient in vitamin D. According to the CDC, over 25% of the population is vitamin D deficient. So, despite sunny weather, you may be looking at a vitamin D deficiency.
This is because vitamin D isn’t present in many foods. Mushrooms and milk are my go-to recommended foods to get vitamin D, but it can still be difficult to reach ideal levels. (I take it none of you are scarfing down mushrooms all day, right?)
So this is the time of year that I start taking vitamin D supplements! I swear by these, there’s no way I’d make it through a Seattle fall/winter/spring without them.
What does vitamin D even do & why do you need it?
Vitamin D is required for the regulation of the minerals calcium and phosphorus in the body. It also plays an important role in maintaining proper bone structure. Over time research has linked low vitamin D levels with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, osteoporosis and cancer.
The most important result of vitamin D deficiency, however, is depression.
Studies by Springer, and research results reported in the New England Journal of Medicine and by the Vitamin D Council, are indicating a link to depression. Canadian researchers reviewed 14 studies, consisting of 31,424 participants and found a strong correlation between depression and a lack of Vitamin D. This applies to Seasonal Affective Disorder as well, which many Seattilites suffer from.
So, my favorite vitamin company, Vita Optimum, has great vitamin D supplements. Their vitamin D in particular is made from organic extra virgin olive oil and has zero fillers or preservatives. Super, super high quality! However, you can also get vitamin D supplements at your local drug store or grocery store.
How much vitamin D do you need?
The average person who is not already deficient in vitamin D needs 1000 IUs daily.
You need a blood test to determine if you are deficient and then a dietitian to determine your vitamin D regimen to fix that. But, since that's unrealistic (and unnecessary) for most of you to do, I like to recommend 2000 IUs daily. Why? Because that's not a large enough dose to realistically be toxic the average healthy person and it's enough to boost your current levels, which are probably low.