The Big Deal with Vitamin D

It really is a big deal.

I remember having a conversation years ago with my close friend, and orthopaedic surgery resident, Susan, all about vitamin D. She was still in medical school at the time and was telling me all about the magic of vitamin D. I had yet to enter my naturopathic medical studies and was wowed by what she had to say. Now, years later, after studying for way too long it really is clear that vitamin D is a superhero. In fact, even with North America’s poor nutritional state it’s rare to find a vitamin deficiency like that of vitamin D in a developed country, especially for those of us living above the 49th parallel.

So what is the big deal with vitamin D. MS, breast cancer, depression, immunity, bone density – you name it and vitamin D likely has a hand in making it better. But with the advent of sunscreens in summer and the inevitable grey of winter blocking the sun’s rays, getting enough is hard stuff.

Vitamin D is created by the body. When sun shines on the skin 7-dehydrocholesterol is converted into pre-vitamin D3. After passing through the metabolic processes of the liver and the kidney we wind up with active 1, 25-dihydoxyvitamin D3. Confused yet? Check out this helpful picture from Medscape.

Us northerners need at least 10 minutes outside each day with sunscreen-free bare arms and legs to get the right amount. This is difficult even on a bright, summer day because of our on-the-go lives so the addition of healthy foods and a supplement can come in handy.

Vitamin D is a pillar of health and it's just what the doctor ordered! Talk with your naturopathic doctor about the right amount for you.