If you didn’t get to spend as much time outside as you would have liked this summer, it might be a good idea to think about a vitamin D supplement. The body makes vitamin D when skin is directly exposed to the sun. During the summer months up to a half hour of exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM several times a week may be enough to produce sufficient vitamin D, but it’s important to remember that excessive exposure to the sun can have complications.
Why is vitamin D important? Well it has been getting a lot of attention in studies and the media lately for good reason. It is being studied for its role in the prevention and treatment of low-back and joint pain, diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, multiple sclerosis and other conditions. In fact, some studies suggest that vitamin D may protect against cancers of the colon, prostate and breast. Vitamin D is already well known for the important role it plays in in building strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium. Vitamin D also helps with nerve and muscle function, as well as in the function of the immune system and in the reduction of inflammation.
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) reports that vitamin D deficiency is a silent epidemic in our nation, according to Michael F. Holick, MD, PhD, the director of physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine. Patients with vitamin D deficiency are often misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia due to widespread symptoms and vitamin D deficiency in chronic pain patients has also been shown to lead to an increased intake of pain medications. That’s why we are always on the lookout for signs of vitamin D deficiency in our patients, and guidance with supplementation helps many people recover their health.
When it comes to supplementation, the ACA reports that vitamin D supplements come in two different forms: D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Both increase vitamin D in the blood, but the D3 form may do it better and keep levels raised for a longer time. Vitamin D is also available in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel; beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and some mushrooms, as well as most milk, orange juice and many yogurts. With vitamin D, levels vary, so we recommend that you call us before starting vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D supplementation is an important tool in your health toolbox, and at Carlson Chiropractic Center, we want to help you on your wellness journey. Before starting supplementation, give us a call and we can test you to make sure that treatment and supplementation is adequate and remains safe. As always it is our goal to help our patients live healthier lives, and vitamin D can definitely help!