Summer Woes: Should You Still Take Vitamin D in the Summer?
The Role of Vitamin D in the Body
Vitamin D, commonly called the ‘sunshine vitamin, is an essential nutrient that plays a major role in many of the body’s functions, including in the skin, hair and bones. Vitamin D has been shown to promote calcium absorption, support healthy cell growth and healthy immune function. Sources of vitamin D include the sun, some foods like fatty-fish and cheese (though small amounts), and supplementation.
It has been estimated that approximately 70% of North Americans have a Vitamin D deficiency. This is due to a combination of factors: low levels of sunlight for most of the year, obesity, sun avoidance, and low consumption of foods high in Vitamin D such as fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines). Inadequate Vitamin D in the body often leads to conditions such as rickets and osteomalacia, which bring on symptoms like bone and muscle pain, enlarged joints, and easily fractured bones. Given the high prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency, this could be the most essential of all the conditionally essential vitamins.
Vitamin D in the Summer
According to Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences Department of Internal Medicine, vitamin D deficiency is high in winter because of the reduced exposure to sunlight. However, in summer, there seems to still be low vitamin D levels in individuals in places with high humidity and a sultry climate. In the Universities cross-sectional study, blood samples from men and women ages 10 to 70, a total of 351 subjects, were taken towards the end of the summer and in the winter. The levels of vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase and PTH were measured. Results of the study shows that, although the area had a high humidity climate, seasonal variation of vitamin D was still statistically significant, and was a high in the summer as the winter.
Speak with your doctor or a nutritionist about your vitamin D intake, in all seasons. Need help finding a nutritionists. Click here to meet one in your area!