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  • Writer's pictureBrad Johnson

Vitamin D to the Rescue!

Vitamin D isn’t really a vitamin, but acts more like a hormone, in that is causes our cells to change what they’re doing, such as increasing the ability of our intestinal cells to absorb more calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium from the foods we eat or supplements we take. The body makes vitamin D in a multi-step process that involves sunshine (UVB rays), the skin, the liver and other organs, such as the kidneys (listen to our Podcast to hear more about this process).

Vitamin D is also found in foods we eat, mainly found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, but also shiitake mushrooms contain a significant amount of vitamin D. Because Vitamin D is also added to many processed foods (e.g., fortified milk, cereals, orange juice, etc.), as well as multivitamins, it’s best to be mindful of our vitamin D consumption, making sure we are getting enough, but also to make sure we’re not taking too much.

Being that vitamin D is fat-soluble, it does not get eliminated in the same way other vitamins (i.e. vitamin C, B vitamins) are, and is stored in our fat cells. Taking too much daily vitamin D, or burning large amounts of fat (during weight loss), may lead to toxic levels of vitamin D in the blood. This circumstance can lead to further health concerns and disorders that are unexpected and may be life-threatening. Yes, people can overdose on vitamin D, so it’s best to seek out help from your naturopathic doctor to determine your current vitamin D level and establish the best daily dosage for you.

Vitamin D offers multiple benefits for our health. According to Harvard University’s Nutrition Source, “Laboratory studies show that vitamin D can reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections and reduce inflammation. Many of the body’s organs and tissues have receptors for vitamin D, which suggest important roles beyond bone health, and scientists are actively investigating other possible functions.” Knowing your vitamin D level is an important first step in finding the right dosage level for you. Seek out a naturopathic doctor to help you determine how vitamin D can benefit you.

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