I just came across this recent article from NBC.com, Low Vitamin D Levels May Increase Health Risks For Women. So I thought I'd dive into the vitamin d topic for all of you.
In addition to being imperative for healthy bones, vitamin D plays an imperative part in preventing a host of health care issues like cancer, heart disease, obesity, auto-immune diseases and mental illness. So, getting enough of it should be a top priority for you–especially this time of year.
Should you take vitamin D in capsule form?
Well, the absolute best source of vitamin d is sunlight. Second to that are fatty fish and eggs from pastured chickens (to see a full list of the best food sources for vitamin d, click here).
Unfortunately, ample amounts of vitamin d cannot be obtained from many food sources, so often we need to take a supplement to get enough of it. My favorite supplement source of vitamin d is cod liver oil. I tablespoon of cod liver oil provides 3400 iu's of vitamin d (in comparison to 4 ounces of salmon which only provide 1300 iu's.) For us here in the northeast, we need to take in more vitamin d during the winter months as we are getting less sun exposure. So, what's the best thing for you to do?
For maintenance of vitamin d levels, my recommendation is to take 3 capsules of cod liver oil (from greenpasture.org) per day (which is the equivalent to one tablespoon of liquid.. I personally cannot tolerate the liquid so I take capsules, but you do what works for you). Eat two eggs per day and try to get in 2-3 servings of fish per week, from either salmon, sardines, halibut or trout. In addition, if you can get 10 minutes of direct (unprotected–no sunscreen) sunlight between 11am and 1pm each day. This should give you plenty of vitamin d that your body can utilize.
If you have been told you have low levels of vitamin d, then I would stick with the same dietary recommendations as above, but take 6 capsules of cod liver oil each day rather than 3. This should give you about 7,000iu's of digestible vitamin d daily.
When it comes to dosing vitamin d and absorbing vitamin d, it can get complicated. If you want to learn more, check out this article from the Weston A. Price organization, it's a ton of info, but it's very useful.