This vitamin is hotly debated in the vegan community. Why is it to topical in the medical community and how do you get it?
Vitamin D is synthesised in the skin after direct contact with the sun. Although it is thought that the sun gives us more than just this Vitamin D, at this stage this is the only one we have isolated.
Vitamin D acts more like a hormone than a vitamin. Playing an integral part in our immune regulation, metabolic processes and cardiovascular health, this guy is important.
Although you may live in a sunny part of the world Vitamin D deficiency can happen to anyone. Vitamin D will be low if you spend daylight hours in an office, wear sunscreen or simply live in a cloudy city.
Vitamin D deficiency can also be slow to reverse. You must have your levels checked with your doctor to attain where you are. You may also wish to have these levels interpreted either by your doctor or naturopath to determine which supplement regime is best for you. For vegans, many companies now offer Vitamin D2 which is the vegan form rather than D3 which is bovine sourced. Be wary of gelatine capsules as well.
Once your Vitamin D levels are up, or to prevent them from dropping them in the first place you will need to implement a sunshine regime. This means having daily exposure to sun. By building up day by day and increasing by few minutes each week you will be able to get your allotted sunshine with no burning. Fair people require 20 minutes per day and those with very dark skin require up to an hour and a half. Again, if you are very sensitive you may wish to start off with just five minutes of sun to get your body accustomed. You may also like to protect your face but you will need to expose your back, arms and legs with no protection. Depending on where you are on the planet you may need only mid-morning or mid-day sun to get the full array of UV light. Interestingly, you can also wash off your Vitamin D before it converts completely, so avoid washing straight after your session.
Vitamin D is one of the most interesting emerging nutritional information. It is one step further to the concept that we are natural beings on this planet and that we cannot simply remove ourselves from the very core of being human. Fundamentally it comes down to a few basic needs, air, water, food, sunshine and exercise. When you look at it this way, health can be pretty simple can’t it?
Holly George is a Bachelor qualified Naturopath in Brisbane, Australia. Specialising in Vegetarian, Vegan and Raw food diets, Holly draws upon 15 years personal experience in the field of natural therapies. Combining her extensive experience, passion for health and high level qualification, you are in good hands.
- Published: 25 August 2014
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