Daily Dose of Sunshine

Known as the sunshine supplement, vitamin D3 is getting a lot more attention especially for folks over 50.  It's usually calcium that gets the acclaim for it's bone building benefits, but D3 is becoming recognized for it's ability to not just strengthen bones, but reduce inflammation and treat autoimmune disorders.  

Vitamin D3 is obtained through sun exposure, but as we age changes in organ function can make absorption more difficult . Some are more susceptible to a deficiency than others.  Elderly individuals who spend most of their time indoors are at greater risk, as well as those with limited mobility.

Calcium and D3 taken together are a dynamic duo that may reduce fracture risk, as well as prevent and treat osteoporosis. According to Mayo Clinic, taking D3 can aid in thyroid function, and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.  That is pretty impressive for one little supplement!

How do you know if you're taking enough? Your doctor can order a simple blood test and advise on how much is right for you. Let them know if you have symptoms of depression, muscle pain, weakness, or impaired cognitive function as these can sometimes be linked to a deficiency.

Nothing is better than getting outside and soaking up some natural vitamin D, but for most of us getting enough this way can be challenging. Luckily supplementing is an easy way to maintain optimum levels so whether or not you're able to catch a few rays you can still reap the benefits!

~Adriane Rosenberg