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The Great Health Vitamin: Are You Getting Enough?

While direct sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, new research shows that it takes 48 hours from the time of the sun exposure on the skin for the vitamin D to reach the blood.  In the interim, this oil-soluble vitamin can be washed away with soap, oils, or body lotions that prevent its absorption.  Once you’ve had moderate sun exposure refrain from washing your sun-exposed skin with soap–simply wash with water and reserve soap for the armpit and groin areas only.  If you slather on sunscreens, you’ll also limit your vitamin D intake.  Now, I’m not suggesting that everyone becomes a sun worshipper–moderation is key.

Also, if the sun exposure you’re getting is through your home, office, or car windows, you could be getting UV-A rays that actually deplete vitamin D.

You can also obtain some vitamin D from fish, fish oil, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, and many types of sprouts, but the amounts are minimal and sunlight is still the best option.  When supplementing always choose the natural form of vitamin D–vitamin D3.  Dosages vary depending on the person, usually starting at 1000 IU/day.  Some health experts report the reversal of skin and mood disorders on higher doses.

Because vitamin D production is dependent on having adequate cholesterol in your body, you may especially need to supplement with vitamin D if you’re taking statin drugs to lower cholesterol levels.  Consult with a natural health or medical practitioner to determine if vitamin D supplementation is right for you.

Adapted with permission from The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook, BSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM

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Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 17-time book author and board-certified doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and the upcoming book The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

410 comments

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6:58AM PST on Mar 10, 2012

Thanks for the info. I took a Vit D supplement for the first time this winter and am astonished at the difference it has made.

6:54AM PST on Mar 10, 2012

Good information. Would have liked a sentence stating if you live north of the mason dixson line you need to supplement more due to decreased sun exposure.

5:32AM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

thank you....a lot better than some other articles on this topic

8:56AM PST on Jan 20, 2011

I think I need more vitamin D, thanks for posting!

1:46AM PST on Jan 20, 2011

better than what the doctor say and there no after afects

9:28PM PST on Jan 17, 2011

Thank-you for the informative article. Articles I"v read the last several months have shown that we really need more vitamin D than was originally thought. It has been found that some (adults) have been so deficient in vitamin D that they needed to take a prescription strength until their vitamin D levels were back up in the necessary needed normal range. We also need to remember that vitamin D enhances absorption of the mineral Calcium (ie: why milk, a good source of Calcium, is generally enhanced w/ vitamin D) in order to have adequate Calcium levels. Some Calcium supplement preparations have vitamin D in them as well. Personally, especially due to the fact that I don't get out frequently enough to get the sun's benefit, I take 1000mg of vitamin D 2-3 times per day. Remember to check the label(s) if you are taking a multi-vitamin as well as other supplements that contain vitamin D before deciding how much extra vitamin D you need to take. I thank-you for reading this.

9:28PM PST on Jan 17, 2011

Thank-you for the informative article. Articles I"v read the last several months have shown that we really need more vitamin D than was originally thought. It has been found that some (adults) have been so deficient in vitamin D that they needed to take a prescription strength until their vitamin D levels were back up in the necessary needed normal range. We also need to remember that vitamin D enhances absorption of the mineral Calcium (ie: why milk, a good source of Calcium, is generally enhanced w/ vitamin D) in order to have adequate Calcium levels. Some Calcium supplement preparations have vitamin D in them as well. Personally, especially due to the fact that I don't get out frequently enough to get the sun's benefit, I take 1000mg of vitamin D 2-3 times per day. Remember to check the label(s) if you are taking a multi-vitamin as well as other supplements that contain vitamin D before deciding how much extra vitamin D you need to take. I thank-you for reading this.

5:13AM PST on Jan 15, 2011

Helpful info.

2:47PM PST on Jan 11, 2011

I have social phobia and was not going outside enough to get what I needed. Boy, it makes a difference. I take vitamins now. I know I should get real sunshine, but that is just not possible right now.

8:06AM PST on Jan 10, 2011

There has been so much discussion as of late. Oftimes confusing. Thanks for teh facts

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