Goodbye “Natural” Vitamin D

September 8, 2011 Leave your thoughts

My grandson in Minnesota is saying goodbye to “natural” vitamin D until April.  The sun is now too low on the horizon where he lives.  Soon it will be too low in Iowa, even at mid-day (1:14 pmCDT), to make any vitamin D3 from sunshine.

To make “natural” vitamin D3 you must specifically put yourself at risk for sunburn and skin cancer.  And what about now, during the winter?  For centuries those living in northern Europe got their “natural” vitamin D3 from cod liver oil or from oily fish such as salmon in their diet.

Salmon is still an excellent source of vitamin D3.  I love salmon, but more than half a pound every day would be too much of a good thing.  As for cod liver oil…..tasty!

Vitamin D3 is now readily available in capsule form.  It is often included in Calcium supplements.  It is in Multiple Vitamins & Minerals.  Getting about 2000 units per day all year round is no longer a challenge.

D3 is the form made naturally in animals.  D2 is the form natural to plants.  As animals we can use it, but it does not last as long.  Look for D3 or “cholecalciferol” on the label.

Remember, without enough vitamin D you cannot absorb Calcium from diet or supplements.

Jay Ginther, MD

September 2011

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