Get Your Vitamin D!
Well, we’re approaching the time of year on the north west of europe when the sun makes its annual retreat behind a grey veil.Did it ever come out!!
This absence of sunlight may cause you to consider replacing and replenishing your vitamin D stores.
Below is a brief primer on the subject that hopefully covers many of the bases with regards to this essential vitamin.
Please note: This is not medical advice. Always consult your personal physician before taking any drug or dietary supplement.
What is vitamin D?
Surprise, it’s not really a vitamin — it’s a prohormone or hormone precursor. Like cortisol, estrogen, and testosterone, it’s derived from cholesterol molecules.
How do I get it?
Humans make vitamin D in the bottom two layers of the skin in a photochemical reaction driven by a narrow band of UV light. This means the most significant source is sunlight.
How do I become deficient?
Generally, most people start healthy. Those of us in climates and latitudes with longer winters and extended cloud cover (and 9-6 office jobs!) can take a few months of darkness to become vitamin D deficient. It’s difficult to stay topped up in the midst of an Irish winter and spring (and summer?), especially if you spend seven days a week playing at a computer.
What’s the vitamin D sold in stores?
When you take vitamin D orally, you usually take vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol. It’s absorbed in the gut, carried into the blood, and then makes its way to the liver.
Why should I be interested in vitamin D?
First of all, it strengthens your immune system. It also decreases risk of serious and common autoimmune disorders like Type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin D replacement improves insulin sensitivity, the ability to secrete insulin, as well as hypertension.
Currently, while vitamin D deficiency does increase the likelihood of diseases of civilization, it’s not seen as a primary cause.
What about the big “c”?
A ton of studies show that exposure to UV light and in some cases vitamin D intake are inversely related to the risk of common cancers, including colon, breast, prostate, esophagus and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Okay, I’m sold. Where can I get some vitamin D?
You can get more than 80 percent from sunlight. It’s the only natural source of any significance.
General guidelines suggest that getting whole-body sunlight between 10 and noon for 20 minutes is equivalent to oral dosing with 10,000 IU.
How much do I need?
The current Recommended Daily Allowance is 400 IU a day, which is the bare minimum required to avoid rickets.
If you can get sun at midday — say on lunch-break, with a quarter of your skin uncovered (leave on your pants) for a half hour, and your latitude and the season allow enough UV, you should be fine.
What if there’s no sun? What kind of vitamin D should I buy?
Vitamin D3 only. Almost any brand is good. We have very high quality Pure pharma D3 for sale at the gym.
How much should I take?
If you’re out in the sun a lot, then 5,000 IU daily should maintain.If not double it
If you’re low, you’ll need to take much more. Get a test to know for sure, every 3-6 months.
What if I still eat wheat?
Be aware that wheat will cause you to use up your stores of vitamin D much faster, and also will stop vitamin D from getting into the cells where it can be used.
Any other benefits?
For sure! I’ll leave you with just two: some research shows that having optimal vitamin D levels may reduce your likelihood of getting sunburnt. Since bringing my D levels up, I never seem to burn.
Also, vitamin D will help you with your gains in the gym. It has been shown as long ago as the 1950s that exposure to UV radiation increases strength. It was also noted that trainability and performance peaked in late summer and was lowest in mid-winter.