Friday, October 12, 2012

Vitamin D Supplements

Vitamin D Supplements Vitamin D is very important for our health. In the modern lifestyle we live it is easy for us to become deficient in this vitamin. For example, if you live just north of the State of Florida, it is much harder to receive adequate amounts of UVB exposure from the sun during the winter months, if any at all. UVB-rays produce vitamin D3 in our skin when it is exposed to it. Vitamin D is a fat soluable vitamin and if we decide to take it as a supplement it is important to take it with a meal that contains fat. Now Foods offers a D3 product as softgels that contain olive oil with the vitamin D3 making it highly absorbable no matter when you take it. It’s also important to note that D3 is more absorbable than D2 supplements, so make sure you buy D3. It’s common to find supplements with 1,000 UI or less which may only help you to maintain your vitamin D levels, but research has shown that a dosage of up to 10,000 UI of vitamin D is safe. I take one softgel a day (5,000 UI) so this bottle will last me 120 days and it only cost me $8.80. Here are other brands with different dosages: Vitamin D3 1000 IU, and Vitamin D3 2000 IU.

Benefits of Vitamin D

    Helps build strong bones and teeth
    Regulates the immune system
    Reduces risk of some forms of cancer
    Helps fight depression and anxiety

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

    A lack of vitamin D can make you more susceptible to catch colds or the flu
    Greater risk of developing cancers
    Cardiovascular disease
    Muscle weakness
    Depression and anxiety

A lack of vitamin D in your body can lead to calcium deficiency, as vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium. In many cases bone problems can be a sign of vitamin D deficiency rather than a lack of calcium. Magnesium is also important for calcium absorption for healthy and strong bones. Many people today are also deficient in the mineral magnesium. Any form of mental stress or exercise will deplete magnesium from our bodies. It’s important to note that calcium and magnesium are best taken at different times in the day because they will compete for absorption if taking at the same time. Vitamin D is best taken with calcium to increase absorption.

The closer you live to the Equator the easier it is to get exposed to ultraviolet B rays in all seasons of the year; if you live too far North you are virtually unable to get any ultraviolet B exposure in the colder seasons. When your skin is exposed to these rays it produces vitamin D in your skin which is then eventually absorbed into your blood stream. Sun exposer also provides a host of other important health benefits and it is the best way to get vitamin D. If you are unable to get adequate exposure to the sun you may want to consider using supplements. There are many symptoms and risks linked to vitamin D deficiency, such as heart disease, many forms of cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases, cognitive impairment, and severe asthma.

Vitamin D and Depression or Anxiety

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that occurs in the winter season. It is most likely caused by a lack of vitamin D. This deficiency can also lead to or exacerbate conditions of depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

People who suffer from various forms of anxiety, such as generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, or from panic attacks have found that taking vitamin D supplements help them to manage their anxiety or even cure it. Usually vitamin D is just one of many supplements used to treat anxiety. Other beneficial supplements are vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, B-complex, and vitamin B6. Getting natural sunlight each day is very important. Not all of the benefits of the sun on our health is fully understood yet, but it is vital for our mental health in many ways.

Vitamin D2 vs D3

Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is derived from plant sources like mushrooms, whereas vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is derived from animal sources, such as lanolin (sheep wool). Plants produce vitamin D2 whereas humans produce D3 when our skin is exposed to UVB-rays. D2 is not normally found in humans but our bodies can convert it into D3. Vitamin D3 three times more effective for us than vitamin D2 supplements. The best source of vitamin D3 is always natural sunlight in the spring to early fall. If you are unable to adequate amounts of sunshine, especially in the winter, you may want to consider taking vitamin D3 supplements.

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