Creative Commons License photo credit: shapkem

If you live in a northern climate, as I do, you know the long winter months are mentally grueling – especially the lack of sunshine.

Less sun can also have physical implications, as it deprives you of enough Vitamin D.  Now researchers from the University of California-Davis have revealed information that indicates people need to significantly increase their intake of Vitamin D.

Before we get to the study, let’s review Vitamin D.

Less sunshine = negative physical effects

Our bodies create Vitamin D based on exposure to sunshine.  In northern climates, the levels of sunshine are so weak during the winter months that our bodies may manufacture no Vitamin D at all.  In that case, you’ll need dietary supplements or fortified foods to make up for the shortfall.

A deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to or exacerbate osteopenia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fractures, common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, and cardiovacular disease.

There is also evidence that Vitamin D may reduce the incidence of several types of cancer and type-1 diabetes.

As you would expect, people in northern climates spend much of their time indoors.  Add to that shorter winter days, and our exposure to Vitamin D drops off precipitously.

The results are significant.  A recent study from China reported that 94 percent of people aged between 50 and 70 enrolled in the study were found to be vitamin D deficient.

Up your Vitamin D intake

The University of California-Davis study indicates that people of European ancestry with a high sun exposure need 1300 IU per day of the vitamin during the winter.  People of African ancestry with low sun exposure would require much higher intakes – from 2100 to 3100 IU per day.

Recommendations by the naturopathic doctor

Because most of us don’t have high sun exposure, our need is greater than 1300 IU per day.  Most authorities are now recommending around 4000 IU per day for adults, and 1,000 – 2000 IU per day for children.

The naturopathic doctor recommends either Bio-D-Mulsion Forteat 1 drop twice daily, or Iso D3 – take 1 tablet 2 twice a day with meals.

– Information from “Vitamin D levels not enough for winter: Study” by Stephen Daniells of Nutraingredients.com was used in this article.