Health Tips for Overall Well-being from Hope Wellness Clinic
What do you know about Vitamin D? If you guessed that it’s that one vitamin that has to do with sunlight, good for you! But do you know what it really does? Did you know that there are several forms of Vitamin D? If you did, do you know what roles they play in the human body and where they’re located? Let’s talk about Vitamin in depth and the significance of it in how it relates to our bodies.
Vitamin D is a hormone and what’s known as a fat-soluble vitamin. Fat-soluble meaning that this vitamin is absorbed in the body with fats and is stored in the body for a long period of time as compared to water-soluble vitamins (B-vitamins).
There are five types of Vitamin D but the main types we will look at today is Vitamin D3 and Vitamin D2 to a degree. Here’s the pathway of Vitamin D3. UV light from the sun hits the skin and stimulates the formation of Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 combines with Vitamin D2 and is then metabolized in the liver and kidneys to form the metabolically active 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D. This metabolically active form binds to what’s called the Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) in the nucleus of our cells which plays into several different process and pathways in the body such as: Calcium metabolism, phosphorous metabolism, cell differentiation and growth, immune system function, insulin secretion, nerve health and blood pressure regulation.
So, you’re probably thinking, “Great info, Dr. Luke, so what’s all this got to do with me?” Well, deficiency in Vitamin D (Vitamin D3 specifically) can lead to a myriad of issues such as: Rickets, Osteomalacia (bone softening), seasonal depression, muscle weakness and pain, diabetes (Type 1 and 2), hypertension (high blood pressure), and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.
You can have your Vitamin D levels analyzed by your physician or with us here at the Wellness Center of Healing Arts to find out if you are deficient in Vitamin D or not. If you are deficient you can supplement with Vitamin D3 and you can also get it from your diet as a preventative measure to make sure that you aren’t deficient. Food sources of Vitamin D3 include cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, tuna, milk, cheese, eggs, and mushrooms, however, don’t consume dairy products if sensitive or intolerant to dairy obviously. But the best natural thing you can do is to be sure to get plenty of time in the sunshine if you can! On the flip side of this coin, we don’t want to overdo Vitamin D intake because remember, Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin meaning that we can have a toxicity in the body if there is too much intake. So be sure to have a good balance and work with your doctor on achieving optimal levels of Vitamin D.
Here’s to getting loads of D on the daily!