Marie-France, a professionally trained Naturopathis, is passionate about natural health products to maintain optimum health and vitality.
Should we or should we not supplement with a vitamin? This essential subject is certainly worthy of an animated conversation around a table. Many argue that by eating properly, one avoids any deficiency and that supplementation is therefore superfluous. Others will argue that regardless of diet, the environment in which we currently live make it impossible to ignore the blatant lack of vitamins and minerals in our modern plate. Monoculture agriculture impoverishes soils, stress burns our reserves, the omnipresent sugar in our diet also acts in this direction. Regardless of your opinion on the subject, it remains extremely difficult, in our Quebec latitudes, to obtain our daily dose of vitamin D, also commonly known as the "Sun vitamin". Deficiencies of this vitamin create unfortunate health effects, which leads me to affirm that in case of doubt, it is better to avoid the risks and make sure to take a daily or weekly dose of vitamin D in the form of a supplement.
Vitamin D is found in very few foods, prompting the Government of Canada to add some to milk sold in grocery stores systematically. Otherwise, we only get small amounts of vitamin D in fish and eggs. The most direct way to get a dose of vitamin D is to expose yourself to the Sun, unprotected, 3 times a week for 15 minutes each time, from April to October, between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. People with dark skin and older people are at a greater risk of deficiency because their skin tends to absorb less sunlight.
Considering that the absorption of this vitamin is handled by the liver and kidneys, the optimal functioning of these organs is necessary for the conversion and assimilation of vitamin D. To avoid serious health problems, an adult needs a minimum of 600 IU per day. This vitamin, essential to the proper functioning of the immune system and bone health, is therefore a recommended supplement to be taken, preferably in liquid form for optimal assimilation.
The signs of deficiency are numerous, but not easily identifiable. The person with this deficiency may have difficulty sleeping, feel nervous, suffer from diarrhea, or spasms and muscular pain. Osteoporosis, as well as some bone fragility, are probable signs of vitamin D deficiency. In children, a lack of vitamin D could jeopardize growth. In addition, vitamin D is used for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the intestines, which are necessary for bone formation.
Vitamin D also participates in blood coagulation, the stability of the nervous system and the cardiovascular system. Vitamin D deficiency may be a risk factor for chronic diseases. Taking it as a supplement could further provide a protective effect against certain cancers. A study published by the British Journal of Psychiatry reports that inadequate vitamin D levels in the blood double the risks of depression in susceptible individuals.
The therapeutic dose of vitamin D is 1000 IU per day during the winter season. You will also need to continue taking this vitamin if you are systematically using sunscreen in the summer months. It is possible to group the doses to take only once a week. Make sure you take a liquid vitamin D, ideally organic to ensure the quality of the product.
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