Vitamin D, sometimes referred to as the "sunshine vitamin", is an essential part of healthy body function and particularly to bone health. It is the single vitamin your body has the ability to produce when skin gets sunshine.
Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiencies are increasingly common. There are a variety of reasons for this ranging from not enough sun to exposure to Bisphenol-A (BPAs) and phthalates, hormone-disrupting chemicals that are common in plastic food and beverage containers.
An effective way to combat a vitamin D deficiency is to get sun. The amount of sun your body requires varies based on factors like proximity to the equator, weather, time of year, skin tone and age. Another option is taking a vitamin D supplement. There are two vitamin D options: D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 is most similar to what the body produces and thus superior due to its bioavailability. However, it is worth nothing many supplements and vitamin D-fortified foods offer vitamin D2 rather than D3.
Research is underway to fully understand the importance of vitamin D and the consequences of a deficiency. In the meantime, a few minutes of sun daily as well as a diet rich in whole, organic foods including fish, mushrooms, and beef can help. Substituting plastic containers with glass or ceramic to store food and beverages and avoiding BPAs are other important steps we can all take.
(Image courtesy of David Law)