Vitamin D - the Sunshine Vitamin

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Vitamin D’s most famous role is in bone health where it enhances calcium absorption. Without adequate vitamin D, the risk for rickets (weak bones in kids), osteomalacia (weak bones in adults) and osteoporosis increases.


Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to a variety of conditions. Asthma and allergies, obesity, depression, gastrointestinal problems like IBS, and many more health issues may benefit from optimizing vitamin D levels.


New research indicates levels should be a lot higher than the current range we are told is adequate. Optimum range should be about 75nmol/L.


Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because it’s made in your skin when exposed to UV light. In order for the skin to make D, the UV light needs to hit it. Deficiency can result when clothing, sunscreen use, darker skin with more melanin, and limited exposure to the sun interfere with this process.


The skin of older adults is less efficient at making D from UV light too. Spending 15-20 minutes outside with the sun hitting your skin directly several times per week, WITHOUT SUNSCREEN (scary I know, but important) can help your body make the vitamin D it needs.


There aren't a lot of foods that naturally contain vitamin D, most is made via the skin. Foods that do naturally contain vitamin D include:


  • Egg yolk

  • Salmon

  • Sardines

  • Mackerel

  • Mushrooms


Many foods are fortified with vitamin D, meaning vitamin D is added to those foods. These include:


  • Orange juice

  • Cereals

  • Skim milk


Whole milk (milk fat) does contain trace amounts of vitamin D naturally. 


Those with fat malabsorptive disorders (celiac, IBD, UC, and cystic fibrosis) may risk deficiency because D needs fat for its absorption (it's a fat soluble vitamin), and folks with these conditions can’t absorb dietary fat well.


Vitamin D is important! Ask your healthcare provider, get your levels checked, and supplement. Vitamin D supplementation is needed way more often than not to achieve optimum levels.


Need a vitamin D supplement? You can purchase one through my online dispensary. If you'd like assistance selecting the best product for you, contact me for guidance, I'm happy to point you in the right direction!


"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition." -Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist


Wishing you a delicious weekend!

Functional and Clinical Nutritionist


Copyright © 2018 Jennifer Caryn Brand Nutrition, All rights reserved. 

5 Reasons Why Greens Truly Are Superfoods

Greens on greens! Green foods are superfoods, and there's good reason for this. There are great sources of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants (and more). Here are 5 reasons to eat them. 

  1. Leafy greens contain vitamin K, important for bone health and blood clotting.
  2. Greens (like spinach and broccoli for example, among others) are good sources of vitamins C, A and E, antioxidant vitamins.
  3. Vegetables, green and other colors for that matter, are good sources of fiber, which is important for proper digestion and detoxification.
  4. Greens are a source of B vitamins, important for the production of energy. That means they help convert the food you eat into fuel your body can use!
  5. This next one might surprise you. They contain calcium. You likely can't eat enough greens in a day to get in the recommended amount of calcium, but it helps contribute.

What are your favorite green foods?