Your vitamin D levels influence a large number of genes, including genes that are associated with certain cancers, autoimmune diseases, inflammation, and infection. Fat soluble vitamins, including vitamin D are stored in body fat and also in the liver.
The Role of Vitamin D in Health & Nutrition: Thoughts from a Health Coach in Denver
Vitamin D3 is made by our bodies and is also found in animal foods. A chemical reaction occurs when human skin is exposed to the sun’s UVB light. The amount of vitamin D absorbed by individuals can vary. It has been found that populations living in sunnier climates and populations that have higher levels of vitamin D, overall have lower rates of certain diseases. Vitamin D2 is produced by plants and is also found in fortified foods and supplements. There is ongoing scientific debate about how much vitamin D humans need daily and what the adequate serum levels are to prevent disease.
Many people worldwide are not meeting their minimum requirement for vitamin D across all ethnicities and age groups. Doctors are seeing an increase in rickets in industrialized countries. Rickets is a bone disease that was mostly eradicated by vitamin D fortification.
Factors Reducing Vitamin D Absorption:
- Reduced sun exposure from living in places where sunshine is seasonal
- Spending more time indoors
- Wearing clothing that fully covers the skin
- Sunscreen can reduce more than 90% vitamin D absorption
- Individuals with darker skin ten to have lower levels of vitamin D because melanin reduces the production of vitamin D
Harvard suggests that 10-15 minutes of sun exposure to unprotected arms and legs, a few times a week can generate nearly all the vitamin D we need. The National Institute of Health suggests that 5-30 minutes of sun exposure (depending on skin type and UV index) to unprotected face, arms, legs and back, between 10am-3pm two to three times a week can meet our vitamin D needs. Research is ongoing.
Dietary Sources of Vitamin D
There aren’t many foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D3 although some foods are fortified. Dietary sources of naturally occurring vitamin D include cod liver oil, salmon, swordfish, tuna fish, and sardines. Smaller amounts of vitamin D are also found in egg yolks, cheese, and beef liver. There are also commercially sold mushrooms that contain higher levels of vitamin D2 because they are intentionally exposed to high amounts of ultraviolet light. Other dietary sources of vitamin D include fortified cereals, fortified dairy and plant milks, and fortified orange juice.
A health coach can help research and suggest the best foods or supplements to meet your Vitamin D needs.
Optimize Your Nutrition with Our Expert Health Coach in Denver
At Whole Intent, we are proud to offer nutrition and health coaching services that simplifies and corrects misconceptions commonly seen on the internet, allowing individuals to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle. When you need a health coach in Denver to improve your nutrition and fitness, look no further than Whole Intent.
Book a session today to achieve your wellness goals.