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To Your Health

Don't Stop Vitamin D

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07/01/2016 - Howdy! I was asked by a patient recently if it was okay to stop taking Vitamin D3 during the Summer months. This individual was very consistent with taking it during the fall and winter but as soon as the weather hit 55-60 degrees she became inconsistent. Somehow she equated Vitamin D with the temperature. She was an office worker who rarely ventured outside except for weekends and was very diligent about wearing UV protective clothing and using sunscreen.

In order to be synthesized by the body, vitamin D3 needs sunlight directly on skin for 20 minutes and the exposure should be about 50% of the body directly. Having sunscreen on the body will prevent this from happening. Unfortunately the wavelength of light needed is the same wavelength that causes sunburns. Hence, if you want to do it naturally you have to be very smart about watching the time. Once you have allowed sufficient time to help keep your "body beautiful" tan, slather on the sunblock.

I think it is prudent that one should minimize sun exposure as much as possible to prevent damage to the skin so taking a tiny pill once a day should not be a big deal. I work in an office and sometimes I may be outside for only 15 minutes in my entire day so I need to maintain adequate supplementation dosing.

What is adequate dosing for us in Wyoming? Somewhere between 2500-5000 IU a day. Most multi-vitamins do not give sufficient amounts, so additional supplementation is needed. Vitamin D3 is one of five necessary supplements that individuals need (more on that later) . It is also important to note that we are very low in the early spring, not winter. As you may have read in a previous article of mine about the many benefits of Vitamin D3, it is anti-inflammatory and assists in keeping the immune system strong. It is not uncommon for people to catch colds/flues in the early spring.

Also, Vitamin D3 or any supplementation should not be temperature driven. As mentioned above, this patient thought you did not need it once the temperatures became warm. Would I be able to convince her to expose herself even in the winter time 50% percent of her body for 20 minutes in 10 degree weather with the wind blowing so she would get her daily requirement. Mmmm, doubt it.

If you do supplement, make sure you are getting enough magnesium in the diet (green leafy vegetables or supplement). Vitamin D3 needs magnesium to be absorbed (more later on magnesium).

Well, gotta go. See ya!

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