Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin”
By Dr. Madhavi Gupta, M.D.
Vitamin D is synthesized in our skin when we are exposed to direct sunlight. Although vitamin D is well known for promoting bone health, it does more than that. Scientists have now linked vitamin D and its hormone-like activity to the workings of the brain.
Vitamin D is needed throughout the central nervous system and in the hippocampus. It activates and deactivates enzymes in the brain and the cerebrospinal fluid that are involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve growth.
Advantages of Vitamin D3
- Boosts mood (1)
- Supports immunity (2, 3)
- Builds healthy bones (4)
Vitamin D has recently been found to be more important to brain cell and nerve cell insulation than ever previously thought. As humans, we make vitamin D in our skin when exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin D can also help support the immune system and is important for overall health. We tend to get less of it in the winter because we’re indoors more, and the sun is a major source. This vitamin is necessary for immune cells called “T cells” to fight viruses and bacteria.
The Vitamin D Council states that blood vitamin D levels between 60-90 ng/ml are ideal. If your level is low, talk to your doctor about supplementation to raise it.
For most adults, taking 50 mcg is ideal per the Vitamin D Council; when nursing, you may consider upping your level. Your healthcare provider can help guide you by knowing your vitamin D level.
For kids, the recommended dose by the Vitamin D Council is 10 mcg.
Everyone should get vitamin D supplementation regardless of the time of year. Be cautious though - overexposure to sunlight leads to skin damage. Sunny Skies™ Vitamin D Drops are a perfect solution because a few drops daily are all you need to keep your vitamin D levels up and all your pistons firing - all while avoiding sun damage.
(1) Vitamin D and the Immune System, J Investig Med. 2011 August ; 59(6): 881–886.
(2) 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 Restrains CD4+ T Cell Priming Ability of CD11c+ Dendritic Cells by Upregulating Expression of CD31, Front. Immunol., 28 March 2019.
(3) Vitamin D and Depression in Women: A Mini-review, Mohamed Said Boulkrane, Julia Fedotova*, Valentina Kolodyaznaya, Vincenzo Micale, Filippo Drago, Annemieke Johanna Maria van den Tol, Denis Baranenko, Current Neuropharmacology, Volume 18 , Issue 4 , 2020.
(4) Vitamin D and Bone, Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2012 June ; 10(2): 151–159.