Vitamin D is a substance that your body makes itself, and which also occurs in a variety of foods. A crucial step in your body’s production of Vitamin D occurs in the skin and is dependent on energy from the sun’s rays – that’s why it’s important to get some sun every day. It can also be found in a number of different foods, some of the main sources being cold water fish, eggs, milk and mushrooms.
Vitamin D comes in two main forms: cholecalciferol (D3) and ergocalciferol (D2). Vitamin D3 is found in animal sources, and is the type of Vitamin D that your body makes. Vitamin D2 comes from vegetable sources, and must be converted in your body into Vitamin D3 in order to be active.
Vitamin D has a broad range of functions in the body. Some of the known areas of action are in mood, immune function, bone strength, and anti-cancer activity. Vitamin D is only beginning to be understood, and there are likely many more body systems and symptoms that are affected by Vitamin D.
It is not unusual that a wide variety of symptoms will resolve upon simply achieving optimal Vitamin D status.
Unfortunately, a very large number of us, especially here in the Northwest, have low Vitamin D levels in our bodies. This is due to a number of factors, including the relatively few hours of sunlight available in winter months, as well as a reluctance or inability to spend significant amount of time outdoors, exposed to the sun.
The good news is that blood tests for Vitamin D are very reliable and will help us determine the correct amount of supplemental Vitamin D you require to achieve optimal Vitamin D levels.
Do you know what your Vitamin D levels are?