The weather is getting colder and the sun is now setting at a whopping 4:43 pm in Chicago now. Needless to say, we aren’t getting the sunlight we used to a few months ago. With this can come changes in how we do our exercise, how we socialize and even how our overall health and metabolism are functioning. A decrease in sunlight naturally means a decrease in the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D.
Although vitamin D can be obtained through food sources, sunlight is the most potent and easily absorbed form. It is involved in bone metabolism, impacts gene expression, and impacts function of specific body systems that have vitamin D receptors (acts in a hormone-like way). Vitamin D mainly impacts immunity, muscle and bone function, mood, and suppression of autoimmune responses. Needless to say, it is very important! Although it is getting a little chillier, I do recommend walking outside to increase movement and get a little sunlight. To determine deficiency, I also recommend getting blood levels tested for vitamin D. An optimal range is 50- 80 nmol/ L. Supplementation based on your value would be beneficial, but I would consult me or your physician individually before determining dosing.