Vitamin D is the first thing that we think of when we think of SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s been plastered all over the place as the end all to be all for mental health. While D is important to our mental health, it’s also supportive of many other systems in the body.
Vitamin D is a big player in women’s health. Not only does it support a healthy hormone profile, it is one of the cofactors in building healthy bones and teeth and keeping them supple as we age. Vitamin D supports a healthy sex drive and our weight management efforts.
It’s one of the most important vitamins in cancer prevention and in building the immune system.
I wonder why we only think of mood when we think of D?
Vitamin D is synthesized in the body when the skin absorbs UVB rays from the sun. Because of our heavy use of sunscreen, we are seeing more and more vitamin D deficiencies than ever before. A little bit of sun is a good thing!
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin so it needs fat to be absorbed in the body. If you have had your gallbladder removed, or for some other reason are not able to digest fats properly, you’ll want to look into taking digestive enzymes with bile salts so that you can support your body in utilizing the healthy fats you’re eating and/or supplementing with AND so that you can properly use your fat soluble vitamins. Beware of low fat diets as they can contribute to a deficiency in the fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E, and K)
Holistic recommendations for Vitamin D are somewhere in the 4000-5000 IU daily for most women living in a Northern climate. While Vitamin D toxicity is rare, you’ll want to have your levels checked yearly to be sure that you are in the optimal range. A naturopath or naturopathic doctor can help you with this or you can ask your MD the next time you’re in. Always choose a liquid D as it’s more readily absorbed by the body.
For foods containing Vitamin D you’ll look to wild, fatty fish, egg yolks, fortified milks or nut milks, and of course, good old Cod Liver Oil. I know, yuck.
For more information on Vitamin D and all of its benefits, check out one of my favourite natural health pioneers, Dr. Christiane Northrup. You can read her blog article here