Hello hello! Are you feeling a bit down? Are you wondering if this feeling is depression or anxiety? How about some “seasonal” hormonal changes? Well, if that sounds like you, keep reading. I’m noticing more and more that the bottom line for many of these symptoms is a Vitamin D deficiency!
Let’s talk about what Vitamin D does in your body first. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus – both are critical for building healthy bones and teeth. It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective! It also is a precursor to all hormones found within your body and a base for your immune system. Studies show correlations between Vitamin D and cholesterol levels, assisting with healthy skin cells!
When I run bloodwork on my patients, I see some meager numbers… According to western medicine values, average Vitamin D levels are around 30ng/mL. I prefer to see numbers over 60 ng/mL. Unfortunately, I have received bloodwork from patients with their numbers in the single digits! That is crazy low! Symptoms of low Vitamin D levels are going to be fatigue, poor sleep, bone aches, depression, hair loss, loss of appetite, poor immune system function, and so many more. Vitamin D deficiencies correlate to depression, dementia, anxiety, seasonal affective disorder, and schizophrenia.
Now let’s talk about why Vitamin D deficiencies are so common and what we can do to fix them! We’ve been taught the sun’s terrible for you over the last few decades and to cover constantly with sunscreen. Words like skin cancer, wrinkly/ leather skin, and sun spots are thrown around with the topic due to UV rays scaring people away from the sun. Let’s throw that fear out the window because research has long shown that proper sun exposure has consistently improved our health and dig into the problems with sunscreen.
Sunscreen contains toxins that clog your skin and lymph nodes and are hormone disruptors due to the scents and dyes! Recently several brands have been discovered to contain benzene, a chemical that, when activated with exposure to the skin, blood, or organs, can affect changes in your DNA that cause cancer mutations. Cleaner products are needed for when we are in hours-long direct sun exposure, like on the beach or baseball fields, but daily protection can be done naturally by following these few steps!
Tanning is one of your body’s methods of determining how much D is needed. Boost your Vitamin D levels by stepping outside in the early morning and late evening so that you aren’t burning your skin. Slowly allow your skin to “tan” or develop color through small seasonal exposure. As you get darker, less D is absorbed.
Another reason Vitamin D levels are low is our sugar intake. The higher the insulin in the body, the lower the D will be. Taking charge of your sugar intake over the next few months, eliminating processed sugar, and keeping daily values under 40G a day will significantly help you boost your Vitamin D.
Lastly, protect your skin from the inside with the proper nutrients! Another reason I’m seeing low Vitamin D levels is due to not eating nutrient-rich foods! Organic fish and fish oils are beautiful sources of Vitamin D, specifically Cod Liver Oil, Wild Salmon, Mackerel, Tuna, and Sardines. Beef Liver and Egg Yolks are also good ways to sneak some Vitamin D into your diet.
Supplementation is needed when levels get below 50ng/mL, especially in Winter. It’s one of the easiest ways to maintain your health (other than avoiding sugar). I like using Biotics to boost. Super simple for kids too! You can order here!
Seasons are changing, and Winter is coming. If any of you feel like you’re maybe struggling with low Vitamin D, let’s get you some bloodwork and get on track for a healthy winter! I’d love to help you learn how your body talks to you.