Wingman Nutrition

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Vitamin D is an essential vitamin required for health.  It is synthesized by our skin when exposed to the sun and it can be found in some common foods.  While it is one of the most widely researched there is still a large amount of research to be done and lots to learn.  But here's what we know:

Vitamin D contributes significantly to bone health, basic neurological and muscular function, immune health, the reduction of inflammation, and the modulation of cell growth/proliferation/apoptosis (related to cancer).

Vitamin D is also heavily associated with feelings of health, wellness and well-being. There are associations with reduced incidences of cancer, symptoms of depression, and incidence of diabetes.  It is estimated that over a billion people are insufficient and it is widely accepted that most people do not have an ideal level of Vitamin D.  

Here in Connecticut and Massachusetts it's easy to get Vitamin D in the summertime.  We simply spend a few minutes in the sun.  But here's the rub!!!! It's that time of year where the sun is disappearing on us.  Vitamin D production relies on UV rays and we need a UV index of 3 or more to really be effective.  As you can see in the graph below that only happens between the months of April and September.... and even April/September are pushing it.  Labor Day is sort of that last hoorah outside with barbecues and swimming and lots of fun in the sun.  

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Average UV Index by month

How do we solve this conundrum?

Two ways.  The first is by eating foods that are high in Vitamin D.  This might get you to a place where you meet the recommended daily allowances but all the literature say that's not really enough.  The only two foods relatively high in Vitamin D are swordfish and salmon, and you'd have to put down 1.5 pounds of them every day just to meet the recommended daily allowances..... lol.   So the second, and in my opinion the best way to get your Vitamin D from September through April is to supplement it.  Recent studies show 4000IU to be a great place to start and the Vitamin D Council has recommended as high as 5000IU per day.  Hit Amazon and search for vitamin d3, you'll find a bunch of great choices.  

Vitamin D supplementation from September to April is relatively cheap, easily accessible, and it's sure to help your overall health.  

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