Vitamin D: the Extraordinary Vitamin
Vitamin D deficiency (hypovitaminosis D) is a common disorder in the Chicagoland area with our long winters spent indoors. We are meant to absorb vitamin D from the daystar, but either we don’t get to see the sun, cover up or use sunscreen to block the vitamin D from getting to our skin. Ten to 15 minutes per day in bathing suit attire will provide approximately 10,000 IU of vitamin D.
Although usually found using a blood test, symptoms of the deficiency include aches and pains, depression and bone demineralization problems. Vitamin D is fundamentally important for the regulation of how the body functions—more than 200 genes are controlled by vitamin D, and at least 35 different tissues in the body have receptors. For instance, vitamin D receptors in the pancreas regulate blood levels of insulin.
Some common conditions that vitamin D supplementation can improve include blood pressure, depression and low back pain. For those looking to boost immunity, vitamin D may be the answer because it controls the immune response in autoimmune conditions like diabetes, multiple sclerosis and arthritis (meaning the body doesn’t attack itself).
It is recommended to be tested every six months to make sure vitamin D levels are where they should be.