- Vitamin D and how you can feel better this winter -
The Winter Blues
Have you heard the term "winter blues"? Maybe you have heard it by it's more clinical name, Seasonal Affect Disorder (appropriately abbreviated to "SAD").
There are folks who tend to become more depressed as the colder months set it. Light therapy is a common recommendation (check out our infrared sauna), as well as traditional psychotherapy and medications.
A Potential - and underutilized - Solution
Let me throw something out there for you though. In the spring, summer, and even autumn months, the weather is nice, it's lighter longer, and we are in general exposed to the sun more. Sun exposure kicks off the Vitamin D synthesis process in our body. We even set up a small store of extra Vitamin D that we can use later in the year when we need it (because our bodies are geniuses!).
Then, as the cold and dark set in, we use up our excess stores and can often become deficient in this vitamin. Why is it so important -- and why do we end up feeling so crummy when we are low on it?
Vitamin D is a precursor to a lot of processes in the body -- one important process is the synthesis (building) of some hormones -- hormones that give us energy, strength, help us build muscle and strengthen our bones.
Make Vitamin D work for you
There are a few considerations when taking Vitamin D to make sure you are getting all the benefits.
1) Get it from a quality source: All supplements are not created equally. If you are looking for a "bargain", consider that your health is an investment and not an expense. Is this really an area you want to be cutting corners? The quality of your supplements will determine their absorbability and utilization in your body. In other words, get a good one and your body will actually use it. Otherwise, you'll be paying for expensive urine.
2) Take with food: Vitamin D is a fat-soluble compound. All that means is it needs some fat from your food to grab onto to travel around in the body so it can get to where it needs to go.
3) Get the right form: Not all supplements from all companies are made with the correct scientific processes in mind. The compound needs to be in the correct form (think of all those complex structures you learned about in chemistry) to be utilized.
Try it for yourself
If this sounds like something you could benefit from (experts are divided on the subject, stating anywhere from 10-40% of Americans are Vit D deficient), contact our office. We only carry supplements from companies we trust will provide quality products. There is also an option to do a simple blood lab test to determine the levels of Vitamin D in your blood.
Don't be SAD this winter!
(If you are experiencing depression, please consult a physician. This post is intended to be informative and not a substitute for clinical decision making and diagnosis.)