Vitamin D is an essential micronutrient with a central role in maintaining health. I recommend prudent daily sun exposure to support the natural production of vitamin D in our skin as one of the best ways to get enough of this vitamin. But with decreased daylight hours in the winter, you may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Decreased or insufficient levels of vitamin D have been linked to:
- Suppressed immunity: Our innate systems of defense may not function efficiently without adequate vitamin D, allowing increased susceptibility to infectious agents.
- Increased risk of chronic disease: Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with a higher than normal risk of heart disease and several kinds of cancer.
- Heightened inflammation: Vitamin D is a key cofactor in regulating inflammation throughout the body.
Speak with your doctor about checking vitamin D levels and if supplementing may be indicated. I recommend 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day; look for supplements that provide D3 (cholecalciferol) rather than D2 (ergocalciferol). The Vitamin Advisor is a good source of high quality vitamin D products.
Everyone's dietary needs are different based on a number of factors including lifestyle, diet, medications and more. To find out what vitamins you need, take the Weil Vitamin Advisor. This 3-step questionnaire requires just minutes to complete, and generates a free, no-obligation vitamin and nutritional supplement recommendation that is personalized to meet your unique nutritional needs.
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