Vitamin D is your rockstar ‘Solar Hormone’

Innovative Women's Health
Vitamin D is your Rockstar ‘Solar Hormone’    

Vitamin D is your rockstar

In my office I refer to Vitamin D3 as a “non-negotiable” supplement almost every patient must take daily. This much-hyped vitamin (which actually acts more like a hormone) is probably as close to a “rockstar vitamin” as you can get. Most people know two things about Vitamin D- 3: You get it from the sun and you need it to for healthy bones– yes, these are true, but there’s so much more to this vitamin which is critical for a healthy body. Vitamin D is essential for our mental and physical health as well as a healthy immune system, cancer prevention

We get the inactive form of Vitamin D3 either from exposure to UV rays on our skin or by taking a supplement. Either way, the vitamin needs to be activated by the liver or kidneys to become useable by the body. The vitamin is then active and able to interact with vitamin D receptors which are located in tissues all over your body. Vitamin D allows us to regulate our blood levels of calcium which keeps our bones and muscles healthy. Additionally, Vitamin D plays a role in many different biochemical processes that medicine is still learning about.

Consequences of deficiency can show up in a myriad of conditions or symptoms: thinning or soft bones, muscle weakness or aches, autoimmune diseases (i.e. Crohn Disease, MS, Type 1 Diabetes), metabolic syndrome, breathing problems such as asthma, increased susceptibility to infections, depression, increased incidence of many cancers. You could probably say this Vitamin does a little bit of everything for our bodies.

Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common worldwide, but especially in northern latitudes (such as here in cloudy Washington). Here are 5 reasons you may not be getting enough D in your life:

  1. Limited exposure to UVB or using UVB-blocking sunscreen
  2. You have highly pigmented skin
  3. Several medications and supplements prevent Vitamin D production, absorption or increase metabolism (i.e. anticonvulsants, steroids, St. John’s wort)
  4. Liver or kidney disease
  5. Gut diseases which prevent absorption (i.e. Crohn disease and Celiac disease)

So what can you do to help improve your D3 levels? First, get your Vitamin D tested via an easy blood test. Although labs vary, I like to see Vitamin D3 levels at least at 50 ng/dL in my patients.

Visit a provider at Innovative Women's Health for further information and to get your Vitamin D checked!