Vitamin D is a sunshine hormone we ideally get from mid-day sun exposure, without the use of sunscreen and at latitudes where sunlight is adequate (only to the point that you barely turn pink — burning is not good!).
Adequate sunlight is present mid-day in California if it is summer, but not so adequate come colder months. I test every patient in my practice for their Vitamin D levels, a test called Vitamin D 25 OH and I have yet to see anyone in the optimal range of 75-90 ng/mL without being on a supplement. Rarely do I even see it much above 30, which is considered normal by conventional medicine standards.
At a level of 30, we get bone protection, over 50, we finally have adequate enough amounts to provide some immune support and pass through in the breast milk to our babies, but only at a range of 75-90 do we get all the optimal benefit to our bones, our mood, our glucose regulation, our thyroid function and our immune system, including a reduction of risk of cancer as well as viral illnesses like colds and flus.
For more info, check out the research at www.vitaminDcouncil.org and buy your Vitamin D3 to take daily, 3000 – 5000 IUs minimum in summertime and often more in the winter. My favorite brands: Pure Encapsulations, Metagenics, Designs for Health and Integrative Therapeutics, which also makes a version in chocolate chew form — yum! No excuses!
Get your D and make sure you take it with food — it’s fat soluble and needs a little dietary fat found in nuts, animal proteins, butter or yogurt for example to be absorbed.
Since monitoring of Vitamin D levels is recommended and to avoid overdose leading to Vitamin D toxicity, regular testing is recommended. If you prefer to test without the need for a doctor’s lab order, home tests are available from www.canaryclub.com, www.mymedlab.com or the Vitamin D Council website here: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/testing-for-vitamin-d/.