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Hello again! Last week we talked about Vitamin C and showcased some of it’s magical properties.  This week we will take a look at Vitamin D-3 (cholecalciferol), the SUNSHINE vitamin! Most people go for Vitamin C when they have a cold.  However, Vitamin D-3 is even more useful for the immune system because it is DIRECTLY needed for the immune system to function properly!

Benefits of Vitamin D-3
An adequate amount of Vitamin D-3 is essential for your WHOLE body to function properly — assisting with cognitive function, mood, immunity and MORE.  It Is produced in your skin as a response to sun exposure (the SUNSHINE vitamin).  This is our primary source of Vitamin D.  Just 15-30 minutes of sun time, at least 3 times per week, while the sun is at the horizon level for max skin surface exposure, will provide you with the necessary amount of D-3.  Our modern lives of indoor work and play have left many of us with Vitamin D deficiencies because we are not getting enough sun time every day in order for our bodies to produce this crucial Vitamin.  There is another form of Vitamin D called Vitamin D-2 (ergocalciferol), that can be found in mushrooms.  This form of Vitamin D can help raise production of Vitamin D-3 in the body but not as effectively as the sun’s ability or other food based sources (from meat/fish).

Although we call it a Vitamin, it functions more like a hormone in the body and is responsible for many different chemical reactions in the body. Here are just a few benefits that Vitamin D-3 provides:

  • Helps regulate the absorption of Calcium and Phosphorus
  • Supports bone health and promotes growth and repair in bones
  • Improves health and strength of teeth
  • Boosts mood and helps ease symptoms of depression
  • Helps regulate blood pressure
  • Improves muscle strength, balance and physical performance
  • Helps combat certain types of cancer cells – breast, colon, prostate, and pancreatic cancer 
  • Boosts immune system and is crucial for fighter cells (white blood cells) to combat flus or colds
  • Helps prevent neurological dis-eases
  • Boosts cognitive function
  • Improves sleep quality

Foods with Vitamin D-3
As said above, the best source of Vitamin D-3 will be from the sun.  However there are some foods (mainly from meat/fish sources) that naturally contain Vitamin D-3:

Supplementing with Vitamin D-3
If getting out in the sun a few times per week is not practical, or if you are vegan/vegetarian, it may be best to supplement with Vitamin D-3.  Actually, many studies suggest supplementing with a Vitamin D-3 because most people’s D-3 levels tend to be low or deficient.  Some studies have shown that 1,000 iu per day for adults is sufficient, while newer studies suggest higher levels closer to 5,000 iu per day.  Here are a few options to consider:

  • Liquid D-3 — This option is good because you have more flexibility as to how much you can take depending on need (double dose when sick).  Also great for family use — small amounts for kids and higher amounts for adults. Take sublingually (under the tongue for 30 sec.) for fast absorption in the blood stream.
  • D-3 Softgel — This form comes in various strengths such as 1000 iu, 2,000 iu, and 5,000 iu
  • High Potency Vitamin D-3 — If you get a test from your doctor stating that your D-3 levels are really low, you can try taking a high potency D-3 (10,000 iu) for a period of time until your levels raise back to normal.

Most Vitamin D-3 supplements will be from an animal source. If this is of concern make sure to check the labels for a vegan source if needed.

Coupling with Vitamin D-3
There are a few other vitamins and minerals that work well with Vitamin D-3.

  • Vitamin D-3 and K-2 — These two work synergistically to help absorb calcium in the bones.  If you are wanting to increase bone strength, add this to your daily regimen for bone support.
  • Vitamin D-3 and Vitamin A — Both of these vitamins work well together.  Vitamin A protects the kidneys from an overload of vitamin D-3.  They are both great for skin health as well as the immune system.
  • Vitamin D-3 and Vitamin E — Another pair that is helpful to the immune system and they both provide antioxidants for the whole system.

Would you ever think to boost your Vitamin D-3 intake when you’re feeling like you might be getting sick?  Pair it up with Vitamin C and give your immune system that extra boost to kick that cold or flu in the behind! Having trouble sleeping? Try supplementing with Vitamin D-3, This is a great place to start!

As always, do what you feel is best for YOUR body — if you aren’t sure, ask your doctor.  We are health ENTHUSIASTS not licensed practitioners.

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