Vitamin D first came on my radar when I met with a resident physician who came to see me for a nutritional consultation. He asked my thoughts on Vitamin D. For the most part, I believe on relying on good nutrition for your vitamins and minerals instead of store bought vitamins.
Since I had not done any particular research on it at the time, I answered that I simply did not have a specific opinion about it. He informed me that Vitamin D was big talk in the medical community with much research going on about its value. Well, fast forward 2 years later, and I started hearing from a physician about the research done regarding Vitamin D and its role to prevent and reverse re-occurrence of cancer. Somehow this got my attention, and I went out that day to buy a bottle of Vitamin D. I should specify that the Vitamin D that has been researched and proven to be effective in the promotion of health is specifically Vitamin D3 – cholecalciferol.
So, should you take it? Let’s take a moment and look at what food sources have it naturally: mainly you will find it from animal sources, specifically in fish liver oils. As well, often certain foods fortify themselves with Vitamin D (so you need to read food labels in order to discover if Vitamin D has been fortified in that particular food).
Another source? Sunshine! Since when sun hits our skin it creates an interaction which produces Vitamin D3. However, lack of sun, smog, and clouds can all lead to lack of Vitamin D production. This is why many people feel that they are not receiving enough Vitamin D naturally, and decide to supplement.
If you decide to supplement, know it definitely helps in the role of calcium metabolism, strengthening your bones, and, there is a lot of cutting edge research showing its effectiveness as a preventative health measure such as playing a role in preventing diseases such as cancer.
So if you go out and buy Vitamin D- make sure it is Vitamin D3, just take 1 pill (which often comes in the dose of 1000 IU), unless otherwise recommend by your physician. Also,make sure to take the vitamin with food containing good quality fat, as this is necessary for the vitamin to be properly absorbed in your body. So, don’t take it on an empty stomach or with just an apple. Make sure you are having it with some nuts, or some other source of fat for best absorption. As always, your best bet is to check with your primary care physician to figure out what is best for you.