Nearly 114 million Americans—roughly half the adult population—take at least one nutritional supplement. Scientific investigations conducted have failed to confirm that supplements, particularly multi-vitamins, work. So, if multi-vitamins are not effective, are there any supplements that are effective? The answer is yes!

About 70% of Americans don’t get enough vitamin D. Typically, we get vitamin D by producing it in our skin from sun exposure. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium from the intestines, making it a very important vitamin, but it’s found in very few foods and is hard to obtain through diet.

Vitamin D appears to reduce the risk of various neuromuscular problems, particularly falling, and may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer and autoimmune diseases. Getting adequate vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases. Research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in:

 

  • Reducing your risk of multiple sclerosis, according to a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Decreasing your chance of developing heart disease, based on a 2008 study published in Circulation
  • Helping to reduce your likelihood of developing the flu, according to 2010 research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

 

Be sure you are taking a high-quality supplement like D3 with a meal that has some fat in it to assist in absorption.  Experts generally recommend 800 to 1,000 International Units (IU) a day for most adults. You can take up to 4,000 IU, but more can be toxic.

 Interesting facts about vitamin D:

  • Scientists think lighter skin tones are an adaptation for producing more vitamin D in less-sunny climates. Skin low in the pigment melanin can produce more vitamin D from less sun exposure than darker skin.

 

  • A 2015 study conducted in Argentina found that there is no difference between vitamin D2 and D3 for raising blood levels of the vitamin, but D3 is Superior for sustaining those levels.

 

  • Vitamin D3 comes from animals, vitamin D2 from plants.

 

  • Adults over 50 do not absorb vitamin D as efficiently as younger adults.
Andrea wants to live in a world where the neighborhoods are walkable, bike lanes are plentiful, and the food is fresh, delicious and readily available. A 20-year veteran of the health and wellness industry, she started her career in the fitness industry while earning a master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, and then on to the burgeoning field of worksite wellness. Andrea has competed in collegiate level soccer, worked as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, wellness coach, and master trainer, climbed 14ers, and completed cycling centuries and metric centuries. All of these experiences give her the opportunity to view well-being from many different perspectives. When she’s not helping others to be their healthiest self, you can find her at a farm to table restaurant, down dogging at the yoga studio, or experiencing the Colorado landscape on a bicycle, snowshoes, cross country skis or on foot.