What Autumn Means for Your Health

It’s time to resume your vitamin D supplementation. 

Do you live north of the 41st parallel? Or in terms that I, a geographically inept person, can understand: Do you live north of Chicago?

If so, it’s time to resume your vitamin D supplementation. Because from now until spring, you cannot make enough vitamin D from natural sunlight.

What is Vitamin D Good For?

So why do we need vitamin D in the first place? And can we get it from our foods?

First, let’s tackle the second question. No, you cannot get enough of it from your food unless you are eating a lot of sardines. No, not even if you are drinking “vitamin D fortified” milk. I am a big fan of obtaining your nutrients from your food when possible. In this case, it’s just not.

Second, what does vitamin D do? Tons of stuff! Although we call it a “vitamin” it is actually a hormone. And as such, it is a powerful chemical messenger to your organs and tissues.

The Vitamin D Society states that too little of this valuable hormone can result in “significantly higher rates of many forms of cancer‚ as well as heart disease‚ osteoporosis‚ multiple sclerosis and many other conditions and diseases.” In addition to all of those reasons to take vitamin D, research has shown that those people with a vitamin D deficiency have increased risks of respiratory illnesses including influenza. And new research indicates that the lower ones vitamin D levels are, the higher the risk of contracting Covid as well as getting very ill with it. (1, 2, 3)

Back when I was working in the Emergency Department, I would always refuse the flu shot. Each year I would point out the studies that indicated vitamin D, beta glucans, and probiotics appear to work just as well (if not better) than the hit-and-miss vaccine. Of course, I am NOT saying this is the best course for you. I am telling you what I did.

How Much D Do I Need?

This is a common question and with good reason—there is so much contradictory information online!

Dosages vary widely. This is for a few reasons including weekly vs daily dosing, starting point, and which research body you are looking at. Another confusing part is that vitamin D is listed in either international units (IU) or micrograms (mcg) which are not at all similar.

Essentially, you want to get your blood levels to 80 ng/ml or more. (You can test your levels by using a mail-in lab service like EverlyWell.) Many people start out super low, so they’re told to take more than the average person.

The best (most consistent and research-based) recommendations I can find indicate that 2,000 IU/day (50 mcg) is what most of us should be taking. This number IS impacted by weight. Research shows that those who are overweight need 7,000 IU/day and those who are obese need as much as 8,000 IU/day (200 mcg) to raise and maintain blood vitamin D levels above 40 ng/mL. These are all far above what used to be believed. If you have any concerns about these numbers, talk to your doctor.

My Autumn Supplements

These are affiliate links. I would recommend them to you even if I didn’t get anything in return. They are excellent!

Vitamin D

One of these tablets provides 50 mcg (2000 IU) of vitamin D. The quality is pharmaceutical grade which is higher than standard supplements. (As an RN, this was very important for me when evaluating supplements.)

Durt Black

Scientifically proven to boost hydration, immunity, gut health, pH balance, electrolytes, energy, and nutrient absorption. AND it improves your hair, skin and nails!

All the good stuff my body needs, without any calories, sugar or caffeine! I love durt black!