If you’re one of the many who are deficient in the sunniest vitamin, a supplement is the next best thing…
“I just need some sun.” Those words must have spilled from my mouth over a thousand times throughout the past few months. Sensing my mood drooping and my skin growing paler by the day, my body and mind intrinsically knew that sunlight — more specifically the vitamin D3 that comes from it — was desperately needed. And I’m not the only one. Roughly 10% of US adults are deficient in this essential vitamin. A surprising statistic when you consider the fact that it’s one of the easiest vitamins to come by — all you gotta do is expose a little skin to the sun, right? Really, what should be a simple act becomes far more complicated when you add in damaging UV rays (and the sunscreen we use to protect ourselves from them), the threat of skin cancer, and for those of us living in cold and overcast environments, the complications of layers and long sleeves. Not to mention… the best time to naturally absorb D3 is between the hours of 10am and 3pm, which also happens to be the exact time frame experts advise people to stay out of the sun. You see the dilemma. Or dilemmas in this case.
What to do? If you’re one of the many who are deficient in the sunniest vitamin, a supplement is the next best thing. Today I’m discussing all the benefits of HUM Nutrition’s vitamin D3, appropriately called Here Comes The Sun, and why you might want to consider adding it to your wellness routine. Read on to learn more, then be sure to discuss whether D3 is right for you with your health practitioner.
What is it? Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is an essential vitamin created naturally by the body when exposed to the sun. D3 is also found in small amounts in fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, and in egg yolks, and is often added to “fortify” milk, cereals and orange juice. Because of the small amounts of D3 present in these foods, and because the most common sources — besides the sun — are animal-based, vegans and vegetarians are more susceptible to D3 deficiency. While vitamin D3 is relatively easy for our bodies to produce naturally, many people are deficient due to diet, lifestyle and environmental factors. While other forms of vitamin D exist, like D2, vitamin D3 is generally considered the safer choice as a supplement because the body can better regulate the amount of D3 in the bloodstream (too much could lead to toxicity). As with all vitamins, it’s important to first check with your doctor before beginning a new supplement to ensure you truly need it and will benefit from it.
Benefits of Vitamin D3: Benefitting everything from mood to immunity, vitamin D3 is a powerhouse vitamin. If you’ve ever noticed your skin looking clearer in the summer and becoming more acne-prone in the colder months, that’s because vitamin D3 could help to regulate oil production by lessening sebum. D3 also helps the body absorb calcium, which is why it’s so often paired as a fortifier with calcium-rich foods such as milk. Aiding the body in absorbing calcium helps to build stronger bones, which helps prevent osteoporosis. As D3 circulates throughout the body, it helps the kidneys recycle phosphate in the body, balancing pH levels. D3 has also been found to benefit the immune system by balancing it, helping your body fight off viruses, cold and flu. D3 is also linked to improving mood and potentially helping to treat mood disorders, such as depression and seasonal affective disorder. It’s thought that D3 affects our dopamine and norepinephrine receptors, which can become imbalanced and lead to mood disorders. D3 helps to balance these receptors, helping our bodies better regulate mood.
How to get more vitamin D3: Many people are deficient in D3 due to lack of sun, use of sunscreen, and/or dietary choices. Because it can be difficult for the body to produce the D3 it needs, especially if you work indoors or live in a cold climate, an over-the-counter supplement such as HUM Nutrition Here Comes The Sun is a great way to increase levels of D3. If you eat animal products, you can also increase intake of milk and fish, such as salmon and mackerel, and pastured eggs.
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This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.