Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and is integral to the health of your immune system, blood vessels, muscles and nervous systems. Most people don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight, especially if they live in a northern climate. It is estimated that more than more than 50% of the population is Vitamin D deficient. Also as we age our body’s ability to produce Vitamin D decreases significantly.
Why you should take Vitamin D from a health perspective
Vitamin D supports immune function, neurological health and blood sugar regulation. Low Vitamin D levels have been associated with decreased immune function, higher blood pressure, increased risk of cancer, as well as the development of diabetes and neurological disorders.
Why you should take Vitamin D from a fitness perspective
Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with decreased strength output, increased fat mass, decreased muscle mass, as well as decreased testosterone levels in men.
Vitamin D Supplementation
- Dosage: 5000-10000IUD/day
- When to take it: with Breakfast
- Recommended brand: Poliquin D3 Excellence
- Where to purchase: http://main.poliquinstore.com/d3-excellence1000
Other Sources of Vitamin D
- Sunlight: Sunlight spurs the body to make vitamin D. But because of the skin-cancer risk, there isn’t an official recommendation. Even an SPF 8 sunblock has been shown to decrease Vitamin D synthesis by as much as 95%. Keep in mind that both glass windows and sunscreen block vitamin D production. However, a small amount of direct sun exposure without sunscreen can help.
- Fatty Fish: Fatty fish can be a good source of vitamin D. Common options include salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, and eel.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms have the capacity to produce vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet light. Mushrooms, however, are usually grown in the dark and don’t contain the vitamin. Specific brands, however, are grown in ultraviolet light to spur vitamin D production. Look for vitamin D–rich mushrooms, like Dole’s Portobello Mushrooms. Dole’s portobellos will give you 400 IUs of vitamin D per 3-ounce serving (about 1 cup of diced mushrooms).
- Egg Yolks: Eggs are a convenient way to get vitamin D. Since the vitamin D in an egg comes from its yolk, it’s important to use the whole egg—not just the whites. One yolk will give you about 40 IUs, but don’t try to get your daily vitamin D just from eggs.
- Beef liver: A 3.5-ounce serving of cooked beef liver contains about 50 IUs of vitamin D—and several other nutrients. You’ll also be getting vitamin A, iron, and protein.
- Cod liver oil: One tablespoon contains about 1,300 IUs of vitamin D.