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Healthy News from Back to Basics Organics, Knox, In
Did you know that a pretty large percentage of the population is deficient in vitamin D? Some estimate around 85% of people are, with many of them being severely deficient.
Vitamin D plays a number of roles in our bodies. It helps us absorb calcium, boosts the immune system, and helps healthy neuro-muscular function. Plus, good levels of D can actually help prevent many diseases, including some types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, the flu, and more.
While it is not proven, there is a lot of evidence that increasing your vitamin D levels can help with depression. Studies have shown that men and women both with low vitamin D are twice as likely to have depression symptoms. While most experts are not sure, many believe vitamin D affects the function of dopamine and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters believed to be involved in depression. Also, vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased inflammation. Since chronic inflammation disrupts many of our systems, some experts believe this could be why D supplementation helps.
How do we increase our vitamin D levels? One of the best sources is sunlight. Often only about 10 to 15 minutes a day can help. Unfortunately we're being told not to go into the sun without our sunscreen, which blocks production. If you are a believer in sunscreens, try avoiding putting any on your legs for the first little while you're outside.
Also unfortunate, it's winter! (Side note: is this why some people are seasonally depressed?) Who wants to go outside and sun right now?! There are a number of food sources. Oily fish (salmon, mackerel, etc), egg yolks, meat, and liver all have vitamin D. Many other foods are supplemented with D, such as milk and cereals. Plus, we have some great vitamin D supplements, including drops and sprays by Carlson's and LA Naturals.
One thing to note: fat soluble vitamins like D are not as easily eliminated as water-soluble vitmains (ie C) so over-supplementation can lead to toxic levels. We strongly suggest getting a vitamin D blood test to see where your levels are. We do have a doctor that comes once a month who offers this test. You can find out when and see the list of tests on our Events page.
A Healthy Brain
Hair, Skin & Nails
Herb of the Month
Here's highlights from our e-newsletter, Healthy News, plus a few additional pages for topics of interest.
D for Depression