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How Vitamin D Helps

Springtime is officially here, so it’s fitting to discuss the importance of vitamin D. Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is produced in your skin in response to sunlight. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that plays an integral role in our overall health—it helps to regulate the absorption of calcium and therefore supports strong bones and teeth.  Vitamin D also helps boost immune system function and thus increases the body’s resistance to certain diseases and illnesses.  Research suggests that optimizing your vitamin D intake—ideally via exposure to the sun—can help to prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, and infections (such as the flu).  On the flip side, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to various ailments such as: bone pain, muscle weakness, increased blood pressure, Psoriasis, chronic fatigue, depression, sweaty head and respiratory complications, cancer, dementia and cardiovascular disease.

How Much Vitamin D do you Need

So how much vitamin D do you actually need? Research suggest 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight is needed for optimal health.  However, it is important to remember that vitamin D needs are highly individual—your vitamin D requirements are dependent on a myriad of factors, such as your age and weight, and the amount of sunlight you’re exposed to on a regular basis.  People over 50 need more vitamin D because their skin doesn’t make as much vitamin D in response to sun exposure. Vitamin D is fat soluble, so your needs are partially determined by your weight.  Since there are so many variables that influence your vitamin D requirements, the best way to figure out your correct dosage of vitamin D is through a blood test.

At NY Health & Wellness, we take Vitamin D very seriously. We regularly test our patients’ vitamin D levels to help them overcome possible deficiencies. The best way to achieve optimal vitamin D levels is through direct exposure to sunlight. But this is not always easy, especially for busy professionals or during the cold and sunless winter months. At NYH&W, we can work to find you other alternative ways to get your daily dose of vitamin D, primarily through certain foods and supplementation.