Our ability to produce and use active form of Vitamin D3 gives us our inner life force and makes us feel good. If you do not have sufficient levels of Vitamin D3, you cannot access your DNA library for needed biological processes. This is why we crave sunshine. So how to we activate our inner light when there is no sun?
Please note this is a follow-up to two previous articles I wrote on Vitamin D3.
Click here to read Activate Your Inner Sunshine with Vitamin D
Click here to read Activate Your Inner Sunshine with Vitamin D: Part II
If you are regularly exposed to the sun and/or include wild fish, egg yolk, as part of your diet then you don't need to worry about vitamin D supplementation. For those of us who do not get much sun exposure either because we are indoors most of the day or live in cloudy climates like Vancouver, live a vegan lifestyle and especially if you have dark skin, than vitamin D supplementation is needed. If you are unsure, visit your doctor to get your vitamin D levels checked.
So what to you do if...like me, you are passionate about living a plant-based lifestyle and live in cloudy climate like Vancouver, and do not want to start consuming seafood from our heavily-fished oceans? You have a few options.
Avoid Synthetic Vitamin D2, a supplement found in "Healthy" Products
First off, synthetic vitamin D2 which is fortified in like packaged foods like, Organic Almond Milk is not the answer. Not only are you not getting quality vitamin D3 your body needs, synthetic Vitamin D2 has been shown to be toxic. Click here to read my previous article about the importance of getting vitamin D3 rather than D2 in your diet.
Here are some other options.
Option #1 - Worship the Sun
Whenever you see the sun, get outside and soak in the rays. You will feel better! Please do note that occasional exposure of sunlight to your face is not sufficient vitamin D3 nutrition. To get optimal vitamin D production, and minimize risk of melanoma, it is best to get sunlight between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. During this time, UVB rays are most intense, as oppose to sunset when UVB rays are filtered out more than UVA rays which are the more dangerous ones. Did you know that....UVA actually destroys some of the vitamin D formed in your skin by the UVB??
The amount of time you need to spend in the sun to get adequate amounts of Vitamin D depends on your skin colour, time of year and where you live. Dr. Mercola suggests that people with fair skin will get their vitamin D levels met in 10-20 minutes of sun exposure when your skin starts to turn pink. If you have darker skin, you will need to be in the sun longer to optimize vitamin D production. If you are unsure about how much sun exposure you need, you can thank the Norweigans for developing an on-line calculator that takes into account all relevant factors and will tell you how much sun exposure your need.
Click here for on-line Vitamin D calculator :-))
Option #2 Consider using a Tanning Bed
While I personally do not have experience with this, Dr. Mercola suggests that, "High quality indoor tanning devices ARE SAFE if you precisely follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for exposure, posted on the label, as required by the FDA. "
He also mentions that...
"Studies show that,for every person who dies of skin cancer from UVB overexposure, more than two hundred will die from other cancers, like lung, breast, prostate and colon, as a result of low vitamin D levels. Moderate exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the only way to prompt your body to manufacture the vitamin D it needs to keep you healthy."
This is not an area of my expertise, so if this topic interests you, consider checking out the following sections on Dr. Mercola's website :
Can a Tanning Bed be Healthy?
Click here for info about ordering, what Dr. Mercola claims to be health promoting tanning beds with infra red rays. Very cool!
Option #3 Vitamin D3 Supplementation
On cloudy days or days that I do not get enough sun, I choose to take a liquid vitamin D3 supplement that comes in oil. Vitamin D3 is a fat soluable vitamin, which means your body can only absorb it with the help of fats, so if you take vitamin D3 pills without fat then you will not be absorbing anything! The brand I use is called D-Drops which I found at Whole Foods. The source of this vitamin D3 comes from lanolin or lamb's wool. While it is an animal source (it needs to be to contain vitamin D3) As far as I know, no animals are killed in the process. I am personally more comfortable with this option than taking fish oil. I have called supplement companies to get information about sustainability/ treatment of animals, yet no one has been able to give me any information. If you happen to know or do the research, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most people need only about 1,000 IUs of Vitamin D per day, although Dr.Mercola says most adults need about 5,000 IUs of vitamin D daily. (I personally take 1,000 IUs/day) It is very important to note that if you take more Vitamin D3 than required, you can get vitamin D toxicity. You will know if you have overdosed as you will get a headache. This is why your head hurts when you have been in the sun for too long. That said, it is easier to get toxicity from synthetic vitamin D2 which is found in packaged nut milks. If you are low on vitamin D you may need to increase your dosage. More vitamin D is sometimes given therapeutically. It is best to consult a qualified health care practitioner if you are unsure of how much to take.
Vitamin D3 to Get the GLOW
Vitamin D is best absorbed with vitamin A. Vitamin A can be found in orange veggies like carrots, yams or squash. Dark leafy greens and red peppers are also a good source of vitamin A. So take your supplements with these delicious gifts from the earth. And did you know getting adequate vitamin A is really important for vibrant skin? It stimulates the base layer of your skin to produce new cells and gives you that healthy vibrant look! With adequate vitamin A and D3 intake, you may just feel the inner glow that shines through to illuminate the world around you :-).
Staying Healthy with Nutrition, Elson M.Hass, MD with Buck Levin, PhD, RD
The Surprising Link Between Depression and Alzheimer's - Could Super-Simple Remedy Treat Both?, Dr. Josef Mercola.
Are Tanning Beds Really as Dangerous as Arsenic and Mustard Gas? Dr. Josef Mercola
Vitamin D -- The Master Key to Optimal Health, Dr.Josef Mercola
of Everyday Healthy and Get the GLOW!