Vitamin D has been in the news recently for the positive effects it is having with people infected with Covid-19.  In this blog we dive in to give you an idea of what vitamin D is, how it supports your immune system and lung function, as well as how you can safely get more of it!

What is Vitamin D?

Well, I have some unfortunate news for you…. Vitamin D isn’t really a vitamin!  Vitamin D is actually a hormone; a secosteroid.  Moreover, Vitamin D does not even need to be eaten to be maintained in the body!  Vitamin D is created by a substance in the skin when it combines with UVB light.  This is why they call it the sunshine vitamin. More on that a little later on!

What does Vitamin D do for you?

  • Helps your body absorb calcium, magnesium, and phosphate to build and maintain strong bones
  • Used by immune cells and helps to boost immune cell function and accuracy
  • Helps boost muscle strength by improving the contraction ability
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits that assist the whole body including the lungs
  • Gives the lungs a stronger barrier against viruses and tighter junctions for protection
  • Low vitamin D levels have been linked to higher blood pressure
  • Improves your mood!
  • Weight loss: If you are low on vitamin D, chances are you will feel hungry all the time! Vitamin D helps leptin be more effective (the hormone that makes you feel full)

How do I get Vitamin D into my body?

Vitamin D is the one “Vitamin” that we can actually make! In fact, we don’t need to consume any vitamin D to get our necessary dose.  In our skin we contain a substance called 7DHC (7 Dehydrocholesterol).  When this substance interacts with UVB we create D3 which is then converted into the active form of Vitamin D by the kidneys and liver.  The amazing part is that we can’t overdose on vitamin D by way of UVB (sunlight)! However, we can over consume vitamin D.

How much vitamin D should I be getting? 

Well, this depends how you are getting it!  In the summer months in Minnesota and Wisconsin, the sun is more directly above us and therefore we have an opportunity to get enough vitamin D through the sun. The Vitamin D is stored in our fat cells since it is fat soluble so keep in mind that the more body fat you have on you, the better chance you are vitamin D deficient.

Provided you have done your due diligence (20 minutes sun exposure per day if 10% of our body is exposed for type 1 and 2 skin (light) 90 minutes per day if type 6 and 7 (dark)) we should be able to keep our vitamin D levels up through the first part of fall and winter. However, the more time that goes by without supplementation, or getting through our diet in the winter months, the more depleted we will become!

Currently you can find recommendation are between 400 and 2000 iu as a recommended dose, however this comes from multiple sources and experts.  We are not recommending anything specific (nor can we), however we are recommending that you get your vitamin D levels checked or you seek out a UVB lamp for vitamin D production.  Checking your levels is the best way to find out how much to supplement and if you do not want to check your levels, then the UVB lamp is the best option for you since you cannot overdose utilizing UVB light.   Awaken for Wellness will soon be offering UVB Narrowband that can stimulate vitamin D production while keeping skin redness at a minimum.

Why does darker skin need more sunlight or vitamin D supplementation?

Darker skin contains more melanin which protects from UVB rays. UVB rays are necessary for the body to synthesis/create vitamin D. As people have adapted to their native region closer to the equator and living more outside, skin over generations have also adapted. Now that the world lives more indoors and people are living in climates much different than their ancestors, the skin is absorbing way less UVB than originally adapted for. This creates a potential for vitamin D deficiency, if vitamin D is not consumed orally.

Non ha dubbi il Presidente dell’Intercollegio di Area Medica, le facoltà mediche e sanitarie italiane funzionano, checché si dica. Ma è possibile avere problemi di erezione a 20 anni?”. La domanda viene posta sempre con incredulità, quasi come se fosse impossibile, anormale o troppo raro avere disfunzioni erettili a un’età così giovane. Pillole come Cialis visita questo pagina che sono disponibili nelle farmacie in Italia, aiutano a risolvere il problema della disfunzione erettile. L’AIM si relaziona con realtà associative, professionali e non, che presentino analoghe finalità, istituendo con esse anche rapporti di tipo confederativo allo scopo di esprimere.

What is the negative side of supplementation?

The first problem with supplementation is the potential to overdose. This is why checking your Vitamin D levels before and after supplementation is key.  The 2nd problem is that the same substance that makes vitamin D in the skin, also makes LDL Cholesterol (the “lousy” cholesterol). Generally, studies have found that your LDL cholesterol tends to rise when you supplementing with vitamin D.  So this is another reason why UVB shows itself as the superior form of vitamin for the body.

So there is a correlation between COVID-19  deaths and severity and vitamin D levels, what are some of the reasons this may be?

What we know now about vitamin D is that it creates tighter junctions in the lungs for more protection and prevention of viruses inserting themselves.  Vitamin D assists immune function to avoid hurting the healthy tissue thus helping to prevent a cytokine storm. Vitamin D helps prevent cytokine storm by developing suppressor regulatory T-cells which keeps the immune cells in check so the damage to healthy cells is limited. We have known for some time now that vitamin D deficiency predisposes to viral respiratory tract infections. So, we can only conclude based on the evidence and the biological reasoning that we have found a strong defense against severity of the virus’s symptoms.

Sometimes it takes a catalyst like COVID-19 to get us to look at the fundamentals of health and wellness. COVID-19 has uncovered the truth and consequence of vitamin D deficiency or at minimum it has educated many of us to take proactive measures to make sure our vitamin D levels are optimal. We know Vitamin D has many benefits. Whether you are in fear of COVID-19, if you have other factors that put you more at risk for symptoms, or whether you are just trying to optimize your wellness, sunlight and vitamin D are basic healthy necessities.

So what do you have to lose by making sure your vitamin D levels are optimal for your overall health?  If it doesn’t help you with coronavirus, it could help you live a happier and healthier life!


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