Authored By: Dr. Costa
The frigid temperature, falling snow and blistery winds outside of my office today tell me that it is still winter, but in my mind, I am ready for some sunshine! When we spend time in the sun, our bodies naturally produce vitamin D, so in months like these, when we might be out of the sun for long periods of time, our vitamin D stores get depleted. That is why vitamin D is often called the “sunshine” vitamin.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine three times weekly is all we need to produce the body’s requirement of vitamin D. This is hard to achieve when you live in a region that is usually cloudy in the winter. In fact, the U.S. the population living above latitude 40 (from just below New York City to northern California) is at the greatest risk for wintertime vitamin D deficiency. In these areas, the sun’s rays are not strong enough to allow exposed skin to produce an adequate amount of vitamin D from October to April. This means that a large percentage of those living in the U.S. are at significant risk for vitamin D deficiency much of the year. Before you decide to pack your bags and move south, however, try adding more vitamin D to your diet or taking a vitamin D supplement.
By getting a daily dose of between 1,000 and 2000 IU of vitamin D-3 from fall through spring if you are an adult, you can replenish your blood levels of vitamin D. For supplementation, vitamin D-3 is the most widely-recommended form of vitamin D that provides the most benefits.
With our busy lifestyles, it is often difficult to fulfill all of our daily nutritional requirements through diet alone. The easiest way to fill nutritional gaps is by taking a daily multivitamin. For example, GNC Mega Men® and Women’s Ultra Mega® contain 1,600 IU of vitamin D-3 plus other essential nutrients. Vitamin D-3 supplements are also available in various potencies in tablet, soft gel, chewable and liquid formulas.For more information on vitamin D products visit GNC.com. And remember, there is just under a month until the first official day of spring!
For more information on vitamin D products visit GNC.com. And remember, there is just under a month until the first official day of spring!