Boost Vitamin D in the Winter

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin aptly coined the “sunshine vitamin” because the sun is our best natural source.  This important vitamin partners with calcium in the building and maintenance of strong bones, and it plays a role in cell development and in the regulation of hormone levels and a healthy immune system.  Unfortunately, some experts believe that up to 40% of the U. S. population is deficient in vitamin D.

Because it plays such a vital part in bone building, D is a critical vitamin for women – especially during and after menopause when there can be accelerated bone loss.  Some women who live in seasonal climates have concerns about getting adequate amounts of vitamin D during the colder months. 

Here are some ways in which women can boost vitamin D in the winter:

Exposure to sunlight is the easiest, most reliable method for attaining vitamin D - it is stored in fatty tissues of the body and then utilized when sunlight is absent.  Twenty minutes of exposure without sunscreen two to three times per week typically generates adequate vitamin D, however this varies with age, skin type and time of day.   

Vitamin D can also be found naturally in some foods which include fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, herring, tuna and salmon.

Some foods are fortified with vitamin D, such as milk, juices and breakfast cereals.  A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition concluded that consumption of calcium and vitamin D-fortified dairy foods can enhance bone health and may help save postmenopausal women from bone loss.  Of 40 post-menopausal women who participated, 20 were assigned to a group that consumed fortified dairy products containing 1,200 mg calcium and 300 IU vitamin D for 12 months, increasing to 900 IU per day for the remaining 18 months.  Women in the control group did not receive fortified foods.  Vitamin D measurements and bone density scans were taken before, during and after the study.  As opposed to the experimental group, the control group showed an increase in parathyroid hormone during the first six months of the study.  This hormone causes a release of calcium from the bones, which indicates bone loss.  Vitamin D levels dropped in both groups in the first part of the study during winter months, suggesting that 300 IU of vitamin D per day in the experimental group was inadequate.  After 30 months with adjusted supplementation in the experimental group, vitamin D levels dropped significantly during the winter months in the control group, but they stayed similar to summer levels in the experimental group.

Vitamin D can be consumed as a supplement an effective dietary supplement that infuses your body with all-natural vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for immune function and the metabolism of calcium. Max D3, a vitamin supplement, not only provides the important 5000IU of Vitamin D that your body needs daily, but comes in a delicious, berry-flavored tablet that melts in your mouth. It is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and goes right to work protecting your body. Because it is so quickly assimilated into the body, it won’t upset your stomach.

In addition to problems with bone health, there are links between vitamin D deficiency and diabetes, obesity, heart disease, some types of cancer and depression.  It is important for women and men to implement all of the methods above throughout the year in order to ensure adequate vitamin D levels and a healthy body.

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