See ya later, Summer!
When I woke up this morning, at the same time I always do, I found myself shocked at how dark it was out! I opened the curtains to check the sky, assuming it had to be cloudy and overcast, but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky – the sun was just still tucked in beneath the horizon. While I know the days have gradually been getting shorter, this morning was really the first time I noticed it; an additional reminder that we’re leaving the warm, sunny, long days of summer behind for crisp air, scarves, and early nights.
The shorter days of the autumn and winter months, combined with the cooler temperatures (depending on where you live!) and the propensity to stay inside, means we experience fewer and fewer hours of sunlight exposure. How is this important to your health, you may be wondering?
Shining a Light on D3
Aside from the role sunlight and spending time outdoors plays in our well-being (1), sunlight is critical for the formation of a specific vitamin that is difficult to get nearly anywhere else – Vitamin D3.
Vitamin D3 is created when our skin is exposed to sunlight, and a chemical reaction takes place resulting in increased levels of this fat-soluble nutrient. Layered clothing, daily use of sunscreens, and increased time spent indoors all contribute to falling numbers of this vitamin throughout the US. In fact, 66 million Americans suffer from a Vitamin D3 insufficiency, which equates to one in five people (2)! This is especially noticeable in higher latitudes, where days tend to be even shorter, and winters even colder.
Vitamin D3 is responsible for many vital processes in the body, including the development and maintenance of bones and teeth, the absorption of calcium and other minerals, the overall function of our cells, and much more*! Another area where Vitamin D3 shines is promoting the healthy functioning of our immune system*. Vitamin D is thought to increase our resistance to infections (3), so having optimal levels become especially important during the winter season, which unfortunately tends to coordinate with increased time spent indoors. *:(
Gotta Catch it All!
So how can you ensure you’re getting enough Vitamin D3? First, work with your healthcare practitioner to test your D3 levels to see where they are at! According to Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, those with light skin may need as little as 10 minutes three or four times a week, whereas those with darker complexions may need one to two hours (4). In addition to spending extra time outdoors (Pokemon, anyone?), consider supplementing with quality vitamin D3 as needed. Taking a foundational multivitamin that contains it is an important first step, however those that require increased supplementation should consider an add-on formula to ensure they are getting enough.
MegaFood offers Vitamin D3 in two different potencies – 1000IU and 2000IU – so that you can pick the amount of supplementation that is right for you! We all have different needs, so be sure to work with your healthcare practitioner to determine yours. IF you find you’re in need of additional support, MegaFood has your back!
- Fortify Your Life, Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., p. 131
- Fortify Your Life, Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., p. 129
- Fortify Your Life, Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., p. 132
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease