Scientists have traced Vitamin D’s effects at the cellular level, and found that it plays a pretty big role in stopping inflammation, supporting previous correlations between low Vitamin D levels and diseases like SAD, arthritis, asthma, and other inflammatory conditions like bowel diseases.
During winter, everyone gets a drop in Vitamin D levels thanks to shorter days (less available sunlight, which triggers the formation of Vitamin D by the body) and colder, cloudier days (less desire to go out, and less efficacy when you do!).
And that’s on top of problems with nutrient levels you may already have—a job (like night shift or just long hours) that keeps you indoors, poor diet, or poor digestion (which creeps in with aging, unfortunately).
What’s recommended? Scientists, policy makers, and others with a say don’t agree. In the new research, optimum Vitamin D levels tested in the lab were about two and a half times the current recommendation (most recommendations offer the bare minimum to keep you from being deficient).
Then, there’s another problem with getting the right amount. You might hear the phrase “nutrient serum levels”, but the truth is it may not be that accurate, since there are different ways of measuring. The best way (least often done, of course) looks at what can be summed up as the bioavailable nutrients, or what your body actually can and will use. Some people have had to struggle against serum tests that are false positives (tests come back as having the right amount and not being deficient) leading to more complicated treatments when the problem was a simple dietary issue. And you might think you have a healthy diet, but all the Vitamin D that gets put into fortified foods is not the bioavailable sort.
So how to get more? If you can get some time in the sun, that’s the best. If you can’t, or want a safety net (or just extra support for a struggling body) a high-quality multivitamin (not the junk name brands grocery stores sell) can get you some bioavailable Vitamin D (in addition to a complementary balance of other nutrients). Vita One fits that bill perfectly, helping to get nutrients going, especially during winter months.
Do you notice disease flare-ups during winter months? Tell us your story in the comments: