Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients we miss out on during the winter months. Doctors say, taking an over-the counter supplement will not only help eliminate the winter blues, but could also lower your risk of life-threatening illnesses.
Some call it sunshine in a bottle, others call it vitamin D3. It's a nutrient that's produced when our bodies are exposed to sunlight. It gives us energy and elevates mood, but because of where we live, one in two people don't get enough of the stuff.
"If you draw a line from San Francisco to Philadelphia and you grew up north of that, from the months of November through April, there's a good chance that you're not going to get enough sunlight to trigger the D3 that you need," says Dr. Greg Rummel, Rummel Chiropractic.
But don't worry, getting an extra boost of D3 is easy.
Since we just began one of the gloomiest months of the year, it's a good idea to come to your local pharmacy and grab a bottle of vitamin D to help replenish what your body is missing during these dark days.
Now, some may think that vitamin D is only good for an energy boost during the winter, when in fact, it can help prevent some serious illnesses.
"There is some evidence from Creighton University also that it decreased cancer by fifty percent in certain types of cancer, from colon cancer to breast cancer. Also, MS and diabetes is included," says Rummel.
Char Mayne has a history of osteoporosis in her family and after getting a bone density test in 2000, which showed that her bones were becoming weak, she started taking a calcium *and* vitamin D3 supplement.
"My DexaTest was in 2000-the first one I had-and it showed my bones thinning and then I had another one in '05 and it had increased in, you know, structure. And then the one in '10 had gotten better yet. So, between the calcium and D3, I feel like it has really helped," says Mayne.
So if you're looking for an extra boost of energy during the dark days of winter, or to help prevent something more serious, take some D3.
Doctors also say, people who have darker skin should be getting as much vitamin D as possible, because they have a harder time producing it.
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