Thursday, October 25, 2012

Vitamin D - sunshine in a bottle?

Good morning, people!

I'm challenging myself to achieve a healthier body - besides working out and maintaining a balanced diet I've focused on supplementation and de-stressing.

Clean eating is a huge part of a healthy lifestyle, but since modern food doesn't provide all the micronutrients we need, I take supplements. I'll write a "Top 10 superfoods and supplements" post in the future to satisfy my readers. Keep sending me emails (and feel free to comment on my posts) in the future, I love your suggestions!

I'm trying something completely new: liquid vitamin D3.

The product I'm using is Solgar Natural Liquid Vitamin D3, 2500 IU. It's recommended to take 0,5 ml every day or every other day, preferably with meals. One dropper (0,5 ml) provides: sunflower seed oil, flavour: natural orange, vitamin D3 62.5ug (2500iu, as cholecalciferol), mixed tocopherols.

Liquid vitamin D - sunshine in a bottle?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which is unique because it can be ingested as Vitamin D3 or D2 and because the body can also synthesize it when sun exposure is adequate. Vitamin D can be synthesized in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Sunscreen, cloud cover and pollution (smog) can filter out some UVB rays, so less of them are able to reach your skin every day. People with dark skin have more melanin in their skin compared to fair-skinned people. Melanin filters even more of the sunrays, so people with dark skin should make sure to get their vitamins. Supplementation and a proper diet is key.

Every cell in your body needs vitamin D. The vitamin is very important, because it plays a big part in maintaining your calcium, phosphorus and magnesium balance, insulin secretion and it regulates blood pressure among many other benefits. You want your brain to work properly when you're older, don't you?
Low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with increased mortality, and giving supplementary vitamin D3 to elderly women seems to decrease the risk of death. Vitamin D deficiency causes osteomalacia, falls and low bone mineral density and is associated with multiple sclerosis and some cancers. Moderate to high doses of Vitamin D may reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

Vitamin D manufactors and retailers claim it to have an effect on common colds. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 322 healthy adults concluded that a monthly intake of 100,00 IU of vitamin D did not reduce the incidence or severity of common colds in healthy adults (source). However, it seems that vitamin D has an effect on influenza infections.

Now, the good part: Vitamin D seems to have an effect on your metabolism. There has been found a link between vitamin D deficiency and high body weight. Special receptors for vitamin D signal whether you should burn fat or simply store it; when vitamin D plugs into these receptors, it starts a fatburning process. Meanwhile, receptors in your brain need vitamin D to keep hunger and cravings in check, as well as to pump up levels of serotonin, a mood-lifting chemical. I like the sound of that, since a low-calorie diet makes me cranky ;)
As I said earlier, vitamin D maintains your electrolyte levels by optimizing your body's ability to absorb calcium, an important weight-loss nutrient. When your body lacks calcium, it can experience up to a fivefold increase in the fatty acid synthase, an enzyme that converts consumed kilocalories into fat. In a 2009 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, obese women who were put on a 15-week diet and took 1200 milligrams of calcium a day lost six times more weight than women who followed the diet alone. Conclusion: By fueling your body with the D-rich nutrients it needs to get out of a fat-storage state and into a fat-burning one, you could potentially speed weight loss by up to 70 percent.

Dietary sources of vitamin D are for example fatty fish species (salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel), different mushrooms (portobello mushrooms are the highest in vitamin D), egg, fish liver oils and beef liver. Vitamin D is added to staple foods (such as milk) to avoid disease due to deficiency (osteomalacia).

The recommended daily amount of vitamin D in the European Union is 5 µg. One dropper (0,5 ml) of my Solgar liquid vitamin D has 12500% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D. I can feel it!

I've taken liquid vitamin D for two weeks now, and I can feel the difference! Waking up at 5.15 a.m. doesn't seem that bad, when I know I'll get my vitamin kick in a few minutes.... Love it.


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