It’s already February and this year’s unseasonably warm Syracuse winter has me a little outside my common routine. I haven’t yet worn my warmest thermal winter coat and I have only shoveled snow once.
Even if it doesn’t necessarily feel like a typical winter, it’s still important to remember that many of you aren’t getting the sunlight your bodies need to produce enough vitamin D (unless you live at a latitude below Atlanta and you get out in the midday sun a lot).
Since some 90% of our vitamin D comes from production in our skin upon exposure to sunlight, I always recommend having your levels tested right about now to take a look at how your vitamin D reserves are holding up as we move towards the end of winter, when they’re likely to be at their lowest. Remember, we aim for a minimum of 32 ng/mL, and a more optimum 50 to 60 ng/mL level, all year round.
If your levels are low, here are some options:
• Consider additional vitamin D supplementation
• Increase your vitamin D even more through food choices. However, only a few foods offer substantial levels of vitamin D, so it is very difficult to obtain the 300 to 4,000 IU of vitamin D we use every day through diet alone. This chart helps you identify the best foods.
How much to supplement? One key to adjusting your vitamin D level is to know that for each 1,000 IU vitamin D that you add, you will likely raise your blood level by 10 ng/mL.
Be well and enjoy the rest of the winter no matter where you live!
We created the Osteo Blast blog as our forum to express opinions and educate the public about natural means of supporting and improving bone health and overall wellness. As part of this forum, we sometimes discuss medical issues and medications, and their effects on bone health in general. However, we cannot advise readers about specific medical issues in this forum. If you wish to obtain advice from Susan E. Brown, PhD, about your specific bone health and nutritional concerns, please visit our Consultations page. Other specific medical questions should be referred to your healthcare provider.