Vitamin D-3

Vitamin D-3

For anyone who has ever felt themselves getting the seasonal blues, vitamin D is likely what you heard was the best solution. Vitamin D is produced by the body, provided that you are exposed to the suns rays. A lack of this vitamin is associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, that is not where the benefits of this compound stop. So if you’re looking to look and feel better all year long, you might want to look towards Vitamin D.

5 Quick Facts

Vitamin D is produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. 
  1. Vitamin D is associated with sunlight for a reason, one of the easiest ways to get it is to increase your exposure to the suns rays.
  2. Vitamin D is one of the most important factors towards having strong bones, without it bones become weak and brittle.
  3. While often we are warned about the extremely dangerous effects of going outside without sunscreen, short periods of time outside without protection can help the body absorb Vitamin D naturally.
  4. The amount of people who are believed to be deficient in this mineral is actually very high.
  5. Don’t shun the sun! Deficiency is increasingly common as people spend more and more time indoors.

What is Vitamin D-3?

Vitamin D-3 is the name given to cholecalciferol. It is an essential nutrient for the body which can be produced naturally. In order for the body to begin production though, one must be exposed to sunlight directly. This means that sunlight coming in through windows, or wearing high SPF sunscreen can inhibit production. This means that in order to make sure your levels are adequate, one should spend time outdoors often.

Happiness
Most people meet at least some of their vitamin D needs through exposure to sunlight. However, spending time indoors may limit exposure.

One of the reasons that Vitamin D-3 has come into popularity recently is because of S.A.D, or seasonal affective disorder. It is thought that those who suffer from seasonal depression, are experiencing this due to a lack of sunlight and exposure to the suns rays. Due to this vitamin d lamps and supplements have surged in popularity, and for good reason.

What are the benefits?

Vitamin D and Bone Health

Vitamin D-3 is essential to the health of bones as well as their growth. For strong bones and normal growth, vitamin D levels should be maintained in the body. Both children and adults who do not maintain adequate levels can face serious consequences.

Vitamin D and Depression

While low levels of vitamin D-3 have not cohesively been proven to be the cause of depression, supplementing the nutrient has been shown to alleviate symptoms. Vitamin D-3 can be used to treat depression, but it is certainly not a cure-all, as depression is a very serious and complicated illness.

Vitamin D and Calcium

Calcium is another compound that can help strengthen bones. In order for your body to properly absorb the calcium, you need vitamin D in your system.

Vitamin D and Teeth

Similar to the benefits that vitamin D can have for bones, they can also be applied to teeth. Both vitamin D itself and calcium can help to fortify teeth and protect them from degradation.

Vitamin D infographic

What are the sources?

While there are foods that contain Vitamin D-3, the easiest way to get it is simply through being outdoors and spending time in the sunlight. This is sometimes difficult depending on where you live and what lifestyle you lead, which is why people turn to supplementation. This is another easy way to add this essential nutrient to your diet. If you’re looking to get it through food, there are plenty that contains it:

  • Salmon 
  • Eggs
  • Milk fortified with Vitamin D
  • Cheese
  • Beef liver

Easy Recipes

This recipe is a great way to get some extra vitamin d in your diet, and when paired with a tall glass of orange juice it’s perfect for a sunny start to any morning. For the full recipe check out Abby’s kitchen.

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 10 cups Swiss Chard leaves ribs removed, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup low fat Cottage Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian Parmigiano Reggiano cheese finely shredded, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tbsp sundried tomatoes rehydrated and finely minced
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 sheets frozen phyllo pastry thawed
  • Parsley for serving
  • Hot Sauce for serving

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F, lightly grease a muffin tin and put it in the oven while the oven warms up.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add in the Swiss Chard leaves and 1/4 cup of water. Cook over medium heat until well wilted and significantly reduced in volume, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat to a medium bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small food processor, puree the cottage cheese with the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese until the cottage cheese loses its curd-like texture.
  5. Add the cheese, rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest, and salt and pepper, to taste to the chard. Then add in the beaten eggs and mix until well combined.
  6. Cut the three sheets of phyllo in half down the middle. Lightly brush a little olive oil onto each square, then fold it in half, brush a bit more on, then fold again to yield a slightly rectangular square.
  7. Press into the muffin tin and trim the excess. Repeat with all 6 pieces.
  8. Fill the phyllo with the cheese and Swiss Chard mixture and top with a light sprinkling of extra Parmigiano Reggiano.
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the filling feels set, the phyllo edges are brown and the bottom of the phyllo is light brown. Serve with finely chopped parsley and hot sauce, if desired.

What is the recommended intake?

The recommended daily dose of Vitamin D-3 varies slightly based on age. According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended dose for those up to 1 year old is 400 IU. For those 1-70 years old 600 IU is recommended, and for those over 70, 800 IU is ideal. Follow the link to the Mayo Clinic for more information. 

Dosage

Concerns / Interactions

For those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, have kidney disease, sarcoidosis, histoplasmosis, overactive parathyroid glands, lymphoma, and tuberculosis, should avoid supplementing Vitamin D. In addition, certain substances can have unhealthy interactions with Vitamin D-3. For instance, aluminum, calcipotriene, digoxin, diltiazem, verapamil, and water pills, can all have moderate interactions. For a full list of interactions and warnings of supplementing Vitamin D-3 follow the link to WebMD.

Warnings

Summary

Whether you have a serious case of the winter blues, or just maintain great bone health, Vitamin D-3 is a supplement everyone should be sure they are getting enough of.

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