Unravelling the Vitamin D story

Since the pandemic, Vitamin D has been elevated to a new status.

There is so much information out there about vitamin D -the different types, what other supplements to take with it and dosage? Like everything else about supplements,  it can be confusing.

If you are one of those people living with a chronic illness, have low bone density or it takes a long time to recover from colds and flus checking out your Vitamin S serum levels may be an important step to investigate.

The beauty of vitamin D is that it comes from natural sources such as the sun and the foods we eat. It contributes to strengthening bones, boosting calcium absorption, supporting immune health and preventing some chronic diseases. Also called a hormone, vitamin D can help with regulating mood and weight control.

In winter with less sun shining, our body may need additional supplementation. Skin exposure to sunlight converts cholecalciferol into vitamin D and is beneficial for calcium uptake from the gastrointestinal tract.

A deficiency in vitamin D can be detrimental to your health contribtuing to chronic illness, cancer, hair loss, fatigue, and inefficient wound healing.

Vitamin D comes in two forms D2 and D3. D3 is found mostly in animal-based foods and D2 is found in vegetables such as mushrooms (shitake adn oyster) and fortified foods in orange juice and milk. These two types of vitamin D metabolize differently in the body.

The best form to take is D3 also known as cholecalciferol. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin (same for vitamins A, E, K), and take them with a meal that contains a good source of fat to optimize absorption. The best way  to get quality vitamin D is through food such as sockeye salmon, tuna fish (non-farmed),  sardines, mackerel, or shrimp. Meats such as beef and calf liver, and eggs (with yolk), milk, yogurt and quality fibre foods like oats, quinoa buckwheat or ancient grain cereals with flax, and hemp.

In fact, one 2015 study showed that taking vitamin D alongside a high-fat meal increased vitamin D levels 32 percent more than with a fat-free meal.

See my recipe for Sesame Crusted Salmon with Cashew Sauce at the end of this post.

 There’s so much to write about on Vitamin D because it does so much! It has been a  popular vitamin during the pandemic as it helpsed with healing by boosting the immunity system,

Here are some inportant facts about THE MAGIC of Vitamin D:

1. Supports Bone Health

Vitamin D plays a central role in bone metabolism. Vitamin D and phosphorous are partner sources that the most known in the application of calcium. Calcium serves as the key structural component of bones in the body. A lack of calcium can cause serious side effects, including bone loss and osteopenia, a condition that is characterized by a weakening of the bones in the body.

A note about calcium and supplements: As we age, we lose calcium in our body from declining bone density and mass, especially for women. Calcium is best taken from food sources and when supplementing always take calcium with Vitamin D and magnesium. Vitamin K2 is also beneficial where all serve as carriers of calcium throughout the body which is best to prevent calcification in joints and on bones.

2. Builds Immunity and reduces fatigue

Vitamin D is essentail for the function of immune cells, A deficiency can increase susceptibility to infection and diseases. In a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that low levels of vitamin D were linked to a higher risk of recent upper respiratory infections, such as the cold or flu. Low immunity is also associated with chronic fatigue.

3. Boosts Weight Loss

Lower amounts of vitamin D are found in individuals who are overweight or obese, but some research also indicates that vitamin D supplementation could help bump up weight loss.

4. Improves Mood

There are numerous studies that have shown a correlation between vitamin D and regulating mood disorders. A study conducted by the Institute of Clinical Medicine in Norway showed that supplementation with vitamin D significantly improved symptoms of depression in 441 adults.

Its always advisable to check your Vitamin D levels once a year. Ask your doctor to do a blood test called Vitamin D, 25 hydroxy.  The RX recommended amounts are between 32.0  to 100.0.  However, the better functional range is between 55.0 to 80.0 ng/m for best results.

The vitamin D supplement daily dosage can be between 1000 – 3000 IU. During winter months, you can take up to 5000 IU and if really ill (i.e. covid) much success has been shown taking 10,000 IU for 5 days then reducing to 3000 -5000 IU.

enjoy this delciious recipe laoded with nourishing fats, Vitamin D and other essential micronutrients :

SESAME CRUSTED SALMON WITH CASHEW SAUCE

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 pieces of sockeye salmon (or salmon fillet)

1 tablespoon tamari

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp. of natural and black sesame seeds

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet

with parchment paper, lightly greased.

2. Brush salmon filets with tamari and sesame oil.

Combine sesame seeds and roll salmon into mixture

and place on baking sheet.

3. Bake for 15 minutes or until sesame seeds lightly

browned. Serve with cashew cheese sauce

Cashew Cheese Sauce (optional)Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups cashews, chopped, soak in water for 1 hour

3 tbs. fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup water

1 tsp sea salt

½ tsp chili powder

1/4 cup nutritional yeast plus 2 tbsp.

1/2 glove garlic clove, chopped

Pinch turmeric

Pinch cayenne

1 tsp mustard powder (or liquid mustard)

2 tbsp. chopped scallions and cilantro for garnish

Directions:

Using a blender, add all the ingredients together and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more water to

preferred creamy consistency. Sprinkle withscallions and cilantro for garnish. Drop a dollop on the salmon. Serve with greens such as asparagus, green beans or broccoli.

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