Vitamin D – The Sunshine Vitamin

by Dr. Wendy Schauer, D.C., R.K.C. on April 23, 2012

The best source of Vitamin D is the sun but unfortunately where I live (Pacific Northwest) we don’t get a lot of sun.  In order to get enough Vitamin D from the sun you must have 30% of your body exposed to the sun for 30 minutes at least 3 times per week.  Since we can go MONTHS without seeing the sun, the only way we can get Vitamin D is by supplementation. 

There are many other states that actually get sunshine yet the people who live there are still Vitamin D deficient.  I was just at a seminar where the speakers are from sunny Texas.  They test every patient who comes through their door for their Vitamin D levels. They found that over 80% are still deficient.  How is that possible when they live in a sunny state?   We have had sunscreen drilled into our heads so many of them do not go outside without sunscreen on.  Many don’t even go outside, they just go to work and back home.  The small bit of exposure to and from work isn’t enough. 

Vitamin D is necessary for every cellular function.  We think of it as just for our bones but it is necessary for so much more.  Washington State is one of three states (Minnesota and Maine are the others) that has a very high Multiple Sclerosis (MS)  rate and researchers are starting to link it to low Vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption, bone growth, neuromuscular function, immune function, reduced inflammation and for cellular support.  Low vitamin D levels increase your risk for breast, colon and prostate cancer, high blood pressure,  heart disease, muscle pain and weakness and  osteoporosis.

Vitamin D is so easy to get with supplementation.  It is cheap and you can find it anywhere.  You need to read the label as it must be D3.  I take 4,000 IU in the fall, winter and spring.  If I get sun in the summer I reduce my intake to 2,000 IU.

Please ask your doctor to have your levels checked.  I have had patients whose levels were under 10, which is scary.  All of them had muscle pain and many had depression, both of which improved with taking the supplement.  If your levels are extremely low your doctor may put you on a very high dose to get you where you need to be.  At a level under 10, 2,000-4,000 IU’s won’t be enough to get you back to acceptable levels.

I may skip some of my other supplements but I make sure I get my Vitamin D everyday.  It is one of the best preventative things you can do. I use a liquid from Biotics and take one drop in the morning and one at night.  Each drop has 2,000 IU of Vitamin D.

Yours In Health!

Dr. Wendy

Margarita @ Body Language Decoding April 23, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Wendy, great point!
Does it make a difference if I take a complex vitamins? Or it is better to be separately? I know that liquid is definitely a better idea. Can I combine Vitamin D with all others?
Body Language: Truths And Lies

Shane Aric April 23, 2012 at 11:36 AM

SO true! Have you ever heard of the Sun Gazers?

15 minutes before it sets or 15 minutes before it rises is supposed to be excellent for you!

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Peter Tamosaitis April 23, 2012 at 12:47 PM

If we had more like minded doctors teaching sensible preventative measures, there would be much less illness, and a lot less prescription drug related ailments. Thanks for your advice.

Kindest regards

Peter Tamosaitis

Sabrina April 23, 2012 at 2:19 PM

What great info about Vitamin D. So many people are D-ficient! I recommend at least 2000IU per day to all my clients. I take 5000IU most of the year since I live in the Seattle area too.

Sabrina Peterson, NASM CPT, CES
Fat Loss and Fitness 101

Lyle R. Johnson: The Sales Wizard & Mentor April 23, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Great post … with a chuckle about the Vitamin D. I grew up in Seattle … and it took about 14 years for the sun in Phoenix to burn the moss off my back. lol

May the Force be with You.

The 7 Steps To Amazing Health April 23, 2012 at 9:09 PM

Thank you for the reminder to look for D3 on the label.

Yours In Health!

G.E. Moon II
Discover The 7 Steps To Amazing Health

Cherie Miranda April 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM

I’m a big believer in vitamin D. Thanks for the suggestion regarding dosage. I take 2,000 mg per day and may consider upping the dose.

Cherie Miranda
Fierce Grace

Clare Delaney April 24, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Dr. Wendy, I’m delighted you’ve brought up the topic of vitamin D deficiency – it’s so important today! I like that you specify how much you should take if you need it as a supplement, that’s realy helpful.
We’ve had such a lot of publicity about always wearing sunscreen, but it’s full of chemicals, and it’s easy to avoid needing it if you treat your sun exposure correctly (it’s more fun this way too!). Thanks for your expert advice!

EcoFriendlyMatters @ EcoFriendlyLink
Natural sunscreen has no chemicals

Lisa Wilcox April 24, 2012 at 8:29 AM

Sun! It’s all natural…but living up north we don’t get enough..That is why it’s a great idea supplement with Vitamin D3. The statistics are alarming. Thanks for sharing.

Hypnosis 2 Stop Smoking Huntington Beach April 24, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Hi Dr. Wendy,

Thank you for the reminders of how we can take better care of our total health with incorporating appropriate amounts of Vitamin D into our lives, lifestyles, and diets. Thanks for the warning about REDUCING your vitamins supplement intake when you are out in the sun more. I have had hypno-coaching clients relate GI pains and discomforts when they were mega-dosing. So often vitamin D is combined with Calcium in a supplement. Do you recommend separating them out?

Happy Dating and Relationships,

April Braswell
Online Dating Profile Writers

Body language rules April 24, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Dr Wendy, Being out in the sun is one of my favorite things to do. It breast the overcast weather and people are normally having fun, including me.
Scott Sylvan Bell
Interpret body language
Now go implement!

Suzanne Laramoe April 24, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Dr. Wendy,
A wonderful post about the benefits of Vitatmin D. It also helps to improve depression which seems to be on the increase in the US.
Caregivers and Stress

Sonya Lenzo April 24, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Just returned from a nice stroll in Sunny Costa Rica with my sister. Picked up some groceries and a cute new TShirt. What a fun way to get your vitamins!
Sonya Lenzo

Eva Palmer April 24, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Hi Doctor Wendy,
We get a lot of Sun in Spain, it’s very similar in landscape and weather to California. Unfortunatelly we spend so ,any hours indoors that I am sure we don’t get enough vitamin D :-(
Thanks for recommending the suplements!
Dejar de fumar sin Engordar

Dan April 24, 2012 at 6:05 PM

I was lucky enough to escape the Great GREY Northwest and Vitiman D3 is very important no matter where you live!

Lyle R. Johnson: The Sales Wizard & Mentor April 24, 2012 at 7:24 PM

The topic of vitamin D deficiency is extremely important. Allopathic medicine is of very little benefit on the use of Vitamins

Jc MacKenzie April 24, 2012 at 7:37 PM

I had a friend of mine who was extremely sensitive to VIT. D..winter with the sunlight down hit her hard every year.

Thanks for the reminder.
Be Well.

Michael D Walker April 24, 2012 at 8:10 PM

I love getting my Vitamin D from the sun too but seems I’m never outside enough during daylight hours. :) Thankfully there’s supplements!

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Bryan April 26, 2012 at 7:56 PM

I didn’t realize that it was so hard to get vitamin d. I will try and get more sun.

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