Are You Supplementing with This Vitamin?
Because of our depleted soil, many fruits and vegetables do not contain the same amount of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that they used to. Supplementing can be helpful to reach adequate amounts of nutrients for immunity, energy, cellular metabolism, and basically every function of our cells relies on vitamins to operate.
In one of my grad classes, I'm doing a lot of research on a vitamin that is not found in fruits and vegetables: Vitamin D, the "sunshine" vitamin. It's tricky to get enough, as food sources include fatty fish, egg yolk and a few fortified cereals and dairy products.
Did you know that deficiency in vitamin D is a global problem and in the US is estimated in at least 50-65% of the population?
Here's another super cool fact about Vitamin D: we have receptors for this vitamin in nearly every tissue in our body!
That led researchers to ask... besides bone health and regulating calcium levels, what is Vitamin D doing? It turns out, quite a lot. It's linked to immune health (better outcomes among those with COVID-19), anti inflammatory and protective benefits for heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis and autoimmune diseases and more.
What about muscles, lungs and the heart- are there implications for athletes? Yes! It turns out there is a growing body of studies looking at the benefits of improved muscle strength, fewer bone injuries, and possible aerobic boosts among athletes.
So athlete or not, everyone can benefit from extra Vitamin D. The RDA is only 800 IU, but most researchers recommend 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day to maintain normal levels of Vitamin D, particularly among the winter months when we can't synthesize D from the sun, but year-round supplementing offers benefits too.
I've increased my Vitamin D intake recently from reading all the research and benefits and encourage you to as well!
Are you currently taking Vitamin D?