The Sunshine Vitamin: Why You Need Vitamin D and How to Get It

Dr. Okenye explains the importance of vitamin D, its functions in the body, and recommends ways to ensure adequate vitamin D levels, including supplements.

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The Sunshine Vitamin: Why You Need Vitamin D and How to Get It

Hello, my village people! It’s Dr. Okenye, your village doctor. I have come again. Today, I want to discuss an important vitamin many of you are missing Vitamin D.

There are three very important functions vitamin D is involved in:

  1. Induction of an anti-viral state: There have been many studies that have shown you can literally be resistant to viruses by keeping your levels up.
  2. Functional immunoregulation: It helps to regulate and activate your immune system in very significant ways.
  3. Intracellular signaling: Many traffic lights and transportation networks in your cells are powered by Vitamin D.

Remember that although exposure to sunlight is a great source of Vitamin D, it also increases your risk of skin cancer. However, wearing hats and SPF-protected clothing, and applying sunscreen (something which I recommend to my patients anyway) will increase your risk of being vitamin D deficient.

The Sunshine Vitamin: Why You Need Vitamin D and How to Get It

You can also read Okenye’s post on “How to Know If You Are Vitamin B12 Deficient?” and Kidney Stones: What and How You Can Prevent It

So here’s my recommendation: In addition to wearing protection, also eat foods high in vitamin D like salmon, cod liver oil, milk, and orange juice.

Finally, I recommend a daily vitamin D supplement, anything between 800 IU and 2000 IU daily. Personally, because I have a dark skin tone and live in the PNW where there is minimal direct sunlight a few months in the year, I take 5,000 IU daily.

If you are wondering what your vitamin D levels are, discuss obtaining a vitamin D testing with your doctor.

Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor before starting any new medication or treatment. This publication and aurthors does not endorse or recommend any specific medication and is not liable for any adverse effects from the use of this information. You can learn more about Dr. Okenye.

Emmanuel Okenye

Dr. Emmanuel Okenye, DO is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences/College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific. He is ABIM board-certified and practices both outpatient at Evergreen Family Medicine and inpatient at Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg, Oregon.

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