Vitamin D myths are about as common as your favorite other myths, like “lightning never strikes the same place twice.” Wrong!
How can you separate fact from fiction when it comes to vitamin D?
Well, let’s start with the basics.
Vitamin D is essential to help your body take in calcium when it passes through your intestines. That means you need it.
Calcium is super important when it comes to keeping your bones healthy and strong. You see, if you end up with a vitamin D deficiency, your bone metabolism (or the cycle of bone growth and resorption) can be dramatically affected because your body can’t effectively absorb the calcium it needs.1
In a nutshell, if your body’s not producing enough vitamin D, how do you make sure and get it?
Food, Supplements, and Sunshine
When you’re in short supply, you can always turn to food. Some of the best naturally-occurring vitamin D foods out there are:
- Whole eggs
Supplements are another great way to get a D-dose. If you happen to be dairy intolerant, or if you have allergies to certain D foods, like shellfish, this could be a great option for you.
Step into the Sun
One of the easiest ways to get your daily vitamin D is to walk outside. That’s right — step right into the sun and your skin will make its own. That’s why it’s called the sunshine vitamin! But make sure you wear sunscreen before you go soak up too many rays — unprotected exposure to the sun can result in some serious health concerns.2
So, what are the worst misconceptions about Vitamin D?
Vitamin D Basics
First off, let’s talk about how Vitamin D is actually made in your body. Once it’s absorbed from the sun, your food, or a supplement, your fat cells store it. While in storage, it doesn’t do anything but wait. But when it’s called upon to do its duty, your liver and kidneys turn it into its active form known as calcitriol.3
Once vitamin D is converted, it can help regulate your body’s levels of calcium and phosphorus, and support the mineralization of your bone matter.
A Couple of Vitamin D Myths… BUSTED!
1. Does everybody need to have a doctor check their “D” levels?
Though you should be checking in with your doctor regularly, the simple answer is, no. Unless you fall into one of the following categories, you shouldn’t be terribly concerned:
- Those who are over 70 years of age
- Those who suffer from chronic gastrointestinal issues, like IBD
- Those who have undergone weight loss surgery
- Children who are not active and outdoors often
Of course, if you just want to be safe, ask your doctor about your levels.
2. Can you take as much vitamin D as you want?
Well… you can, but remember that vitamin D is stored in fat. So, if you don’t have enough fat to store the surplus you’re getting, it could find its way into your bloodstream. If this happens, your body could absorb more calcium than is ideal. This could potentially affect your health.4 So again, talk to your healthcare professional about the levels that are right for your body.
Don’t Doubt Vitamin D
In the end, you want to keep your vitamin D levels in line so you can absorb the right amount of calcium to maintain healthy bones. Furthermore, this vitamin may assist your body when it comes to managing your immune system, fighting infection, and even keeping your cell cycle on point to help support your immune system.5
So, be sure to get your “D” when you can — be it from the foods you eat, the supplements you take, or from the sun. Your skin, your bones, and your body will be happy you did.
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