The Importance of Vitamin D
Wait, it isn’t actually a vitamin?
Did you know that vitamin D ISN’T a vitamin, but something called a “prohormone” or precursor hormone? When our skin gets zapped by UV-B rays from the sun, it begins creating vitamin D, which is then sent on to the liver and kidney to become more active forms of the hormone (vitamin D2 and D3, respectively). Once it becomes D3, it is sent to the intestines to help absorb Calcium, Phosphorus, and Magnesium. AKA, you need vitamin D for bone growth/density, strong teeth, nerve function, and cell and tissue repair. Low levels of vitamin D include being more prone to obesity, cardiovascular complications, bone loss, and mental illnesses.
We get upwards of 90% of our vitamin D from the sun; the other 10% comes from food. 10-15 minutes of arm and leg sun exposure, 2-3 days per week is recommended; however, some are concerned with skin cancer down the road, especially since sunscreen over SPF 8 blocks vitamin D synthesis. To reach the daily recommended level, be sure to include the following in your diet: egg yolks, fatty fish (i.e., salmon, mackerel), fortified dairy (not cow’s milk), mushrooms, orange juice, and/or D3 supplements (as prescribed by your doctor).
-Kristine Gilson, Certified Nutrition Coach
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