Unfortunately, living in Iowa, we are not in the “sunshine state”. We live in the Midwest, and because of this, research has already told us that we tend to be deficient in vitamin D over the winter months.
Our main source of vitamin D comes from the sun, and it is absorbed through the skin. There are several wonderful benefits to vitamin D, including: enhancing immunity, helps eye problems, may help treat psoriasis, necessary for growth, necessary for thyroid function and normal blood clotting, required for the absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus by the intestinal tract, and prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and hypercalcemia.
So, how do you know if you are deficient? Here are some of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency: arthritis, burning sensation in the mouth and throat, diarrhea, fast heartbeat, insomnia, loss of appetite, muscle cramps and tics, nearsightedness, nosebleeds, osteomalacia, psoriasis, rickets, slow healing, soft teeth, visual problems, and weight loss.
But some of the warning signs are not so obvious. Our immune function is really helped by maintaining proper amounts of vitamin D levels, which in turn helps energy levels and fatigue. So if you notice that you are “always getting sick”, look at your nutrition and vitamin D levels.
So, how much is enough? When looking at your levels, it is important to note that we don’t want to be just at the “average” or “normal” range, we want to be at the “optimal” range. For most people that is somewhere between 50 and 70 ng/ml. You can get your numbers through blood work.
Because the experts are looking at your levels to be in the “normal” range and not “optimal” range, these suggestions vary from what you may read elsewhere. People at a normal weight range should be taking between 3000-4000 units per day, and more if you are obese.
By doing so, it will allow your body to stay strong during the winter months, but also help with cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases and so much more!
Questions? Just ask!