Vitamin D – Does the Body and Mind Good!
Written by Michele Vieux
Did you know that the benefits of natural Vitamin D are numerous? Find away to access the outdoors and sunshine during your home quarantine. If you live in a warm and sunny climate such as San Diego, you should try to spend a little bit of time in the sun every day wearing as little as possible, including NO sunscreen. If it’s swimsuit weather where you live then do your yard work in your bikini or banana hammock! Or read a book in the backyard wearing as little as possible (ALAP).
Benefits of Supplementing with Vitamin D
Besides working with calcium to improve bone density; Vitamin D helps reduce inflammation; risk of colon and breast cancer; improves mood; and most-importantly during this time, Vitamin D improves upper respiratory health by aiding the fight against infections from viruses and other pathogens. It also allows the brain to release melatonin, so we can fall asleep easier – like when you’ve been out in the sun all day and are tired as soon as night falls.
How to Measure Your Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D level is measured by hydroxyvitamin D – the chemical form – in the blood and “normal” levels are stated to be 35 but that is considered by many to be a “maintenance” level and that levels upwards of 70-90 are ideal, especially for athletes. Most likely, you will need to supplement to get the complete amount you need.
How Much Vitamin D to Take
So how much should you take and when? Vitamin D supplementation up to 30,000 units to be safe and there are European studies that show 150,000 units for three days to treat upper respiratory tract infections that may be viral in nature. Others show that being chronically low in Vitamin D can make you more susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections.
How Does Vitamin D Work?
Because Vitamin D acts more like a hormone than a drug, signaling the release of melatonin which makes you sleepy, it is most effective when taken at night, about an hour before bedtime. Liquid drops taken sublingually are the best form, especially if you can hold the liquid under your tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing so it can really soak in and start to work before it has to be digested.
How to Get More Vitamin D
Schedule these three events into your Quarantine Routine:
Mid-Morning P.E. – Sun time, fun time! Schedule a walk with friends or co-workers, play frisbee with your dog, take a blanket to the park to meditate…the choice of activity is yours but try to take at least 30 minutes per day to do this. Here is where you can find workouts if you are limited on equipment or have no equipment at all!
Mid-Afternoon Work – Whether it be making use of your outdoor office or making use of your time to work on outdoor projects, try to schedule at least an hour per day to be outside in the afternoons wearing ALAP. Make sure to put your clothes back on for any work-related Zoom meetings you’re taking.
Before Bed – Supplement with Vitamin D for an easier time falling asleep and a more restful night’s sleep. If you feel a cold coming on or are already battling an upper respiratory infection, bump up that dose for a few days to knock it right out!
We actually have a lot more freedom with this movement due to the current COVID-19 situation so let’s make use of it and share ideas! What’s your favorite way to get your Vitamin D?
Laaksi, Ilkka. “Vitamin D Supplementation for the Prevention of Acute Respiratory Tract Infection: A Randomized, Double-Blinded Trial among Young Finnish Men.” The Journal of Infectious Diseases Volume 202, Issue 5.
MedicineNet. Upper respiratory tract infections. 2013. Web. < http://www.medicinenet.com/upper_respiratory_infection/article.htm#what_is_an_upper_respiratory_infection>