This week, we will address our need for vitamin D supplementation. The best way for the human body to synthesize this vitamin is through regular sun exposure. But as we all know, that can be difficult to achieve going into the winter months since we need to expose at least 40% of our skin to sunlight to get adequate exposure. Which explains why vitamin D deficiency is very common in North America.
Vitamin D is known for its support for calcium absorption. Together, they maintain strong bones and teeth, but vitamin D also boosts the immune system to help prevent major diseases.
In addition to its flu fighting properties, vitamin D is very useful when it comes to fertility. It is essential for healthy development of sperm cells and for maintaining semen quality and sperm count. It also increases levels of testosterone in men, which may boost libido. It has also been shown to support progesterone and estrogen levelsin women, which regulate menstrual cycles and improve likelihood of successful conception. A study also linked vitamin D deficiencies with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
Since vitamin D is so often deficient, a supplement is recommended. Additionally, you can obtain some from food sources. Although milk and some ready-to-eat cereal are advertised as fortified with vitamin D, the dosage won’t be able to provide enough throughout the winter months where our requirement is higher. Fish like salmon, tuna and halibut are a better option as they contain good amounts of the nutrient as do egg yolk. Unprocessed cod liver oil is a great source of not only vitamin D, but also vitamin A and omega-3’s. There is debate around cod liver oil use during pregnancy, so we do recommend you check with your health care provider before adding this one to your diet.