Every summer the question is asked: do I still need to supplement with Vitamin D?
You may be spending more time outdoors social distancing amid green space and fresh air, but there is still a good chance you aren’t getting enough Vitamin D this summer.
Vitamin D, known as the sunshine vitamin, is important year-round. We need it for calcium absorption, bone strength, and teeth health. It also supports immune function and reduces inflammation. (With increased focus on the importance of immune health, you may have noticed vitamin D getting more attention in recent wellness news.)
If in doubt, those who supplement for vitamin D should continue to supplement. First off, we often overestimate the time we spend outside in pure sunlight. Second, some of us are entering the season with a deficit. And third, many of us wear sunscreen or use clothing to blockout harmful rays.
If your vitamin D levels were in a good range before the season, your skin might make enough vitamin D under the condition you are outside at least 20 minutes a day, in shorts and a tank top, without sunscreen, typically between 10am and 2pm.
Vitamin D deficiency is common with 50% of the globe being deficient – which includes 42% of adults in the US.
If you have been deficient, you should supplement, as recommend by your provider. For highest calcium absorption, we like a combination of Vitamin D3 and K2, available here >>.
If you have not been diagnosed with a deficiency, signs of low vitamin D may be subtle and include: low immunity, frequency of illness, depression, fatigue, hormonal imbalance, and low bone density.
Working with a Functional Medicine practitioner can help you screen for vitamin-D deficiency and further ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs to thrive.
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