Vitamin D – the immune booster that defends us against the Cold and Flu season

Ever notice that the cold and flu season seems to hit us hardest during the winter months.  And not so much in the summer months.  Wonder why?   A lot of it has to do with sunshine or the lack thereof.

When we expose our bodies to sunshine we make vitamin D.  In fact, your body can make about 10,000 IU’s of vitamin D in about 20 minutes on a nice sunny summer day.  That’s a good thing because vitamin D is a powerful immune booster.  And who doesn’t need a good immune boost these days!

Here in the Northwest we are particularly sunshine challenged.  Even if we were to get lots of sunny days during our winter months, the sun is too low in the sky to facillitate the synthesis of vitamin D in our bodies.

It is important to maintain year round optimal levels of vitamin D in the body.  How do you know if your levels are optimal?  Get tested.

More and more doctors are including vitamin D testing when ordering blood work.  But be sure to ask.  If it’s not included –  tell them to include it.

When your labs come back ask for copies of your results.  Your vitamin D levels should be between 50-70 ng/mol.  Some doctors still think 35-40 ng/mol is ok.  But OK is not optimal.  50-70 ng/mol is closer to optimal.   Some feel 60-80 ng/mol is even better.  Ask to see your results – always.

I personally take 5000 IU’s per day – year round.  I’m considering raising it to 10,000 IU’s per day during the winter months.

If you want more information on vitamin D or to find out how to order an at-home vitamin D test kit see my earlier post on vitamin D.

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