Living in the winter wonderland that is Toronto, we spend a large portion of our year covered up. This means that we likely aren’t getting enough vitamin D.
Where do we get Vitamin D?
Our vitamin D comes from 2 natural sources:
1. Skin exposure to sunlight and, during the months when our skin is covered up, we must get it from our diet.
2. The best source of naturally occurring vitamin D from our diet is fish oils and to a lesser extent beef liver, eggs, and cheese.
Supplementation is a good idea during the winter months – 1000 IU/day. Make sure you are supplementing with D3 and not D2. It is absorbed much more readily.
Why do we need Vitamin D?
Vitamin D plays an important role in
- fighting infection
- fighting cancer
- prevention of cardiac disease
- prevention of numerous neurologic diseases including depression, dementia, and Multiple Sclerosis.
- pain perception – a deficiency of vitamin D results in increased pain
- Matossian-Motley DL, Drake DA, Samimi JS, et al. Association between serum 25(OH)D level and nonspecific musculoskeletal pain in acute rehabilitation unit patients. Journal of Parental and Enteral Nutrition 2014;Oct:doi: 10.1177/0148607114555909.
- Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and risk of multiple sclerosis. JAMA. 2006 Dec 20;296(23):2832-8.
- Vitamin D deficiency and risk of cardiovascular disease.Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1255-60. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.29094. Epub 2010 Mar 10.