Vitamin D Therapy
I grew up in Orange County, CA - aka The OC - and went to the beach every weekend in the summer. I ditched school so many times to go to the beach (one time I sprained my ankle so badly while trying to catch the bus to get to track practice that I ended up being out for the rest of the season...and it was the first week). I even wear traditional bikinis because I DESPISE tan lines (I’ve unlearned everything I learned living there except for that). All of this to say, I love the sun.
I’ve only gotten my Vitamin D levels checked twice in my life...the first time they were semi-decent, at least higher than the average person but not optimal (39 ng/mL) and the second time they were 33 ng/mL. The optimal range is 50-80 ng/mL and most people are <30, which is seriously deficient.
There are several ways to get your vitamin D levels up; the best of which is the sun (without sunscreen). The amount of vitamin D you get depends on:
The time of day – your skin produces more vitamin D if you expose it during the middle of the day
Where you live – the closer to the equator you live, the easier it is for you to produce vitamin D from sunlight all year round
The color of your skin – pale skins make vitamin D more quickly than darker skins
The amount of skin you expose – the more skin you expose the more vitamin D your body will produce
But what about when the sun is not so high in the sky? Depending at what latitude you live, you won’t be getting much Vitamin D. So in the fall and winter months I use a @metagenics Vitamin D3+K2 supplement to help me out - and I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in my mood since I started taking it last winter.
Be careful though - Vitamin D is fat-soluble and can build up in the liver if taken in too high of a dose. It uses calcium and vitamin K2 as cofactors so if you aren’t getting enough of those, it will contribute to the build-up. Be sure to WORK with your doctor and have them test your vitamin D levels every 3 months to ensure they are within a healthy range.
And it goes without saying (I hope) - put on sunscreen, cover up or move to the shade after 15-30 minutes! Steer clear of chemical sunscreens with oxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene and homosalate and choose a mineral-based sunscreen with non-nano zinc oxide for protection.
You can also get vitamin D through food, but not a ton. Fish, grass-fed dairy and meat, oysters, pastured eggs, shrimp/shellfish, mushrooms, and tofu will be your best options.
So enjoy the sun...safely. Oh, and that’s me in the pic. You’re welcome.