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  • Writer's pictureChris st clair

Vitamin/Hormone D

Updated: Apr 7

So often in practice, many people present with low vitamin D levels, and they ask “how is that possible? I am always in the sun!”. Did you know vitamin D is a hormone? It has an important role related to different organs and body systems. Optimal vitamin D levels support not only bone health but the immune system, the cardiovascular system, muscle function, balances calcium and phosphorus, and has antitumor effects.

Unfortunately, getting vitamin D from the sun may not be enough to reach optimal levels especially when factors impede our ability to synthesize into D3 (cholecalciferol). A few factors may include use of sunscreen (even though the use is so important), pollution, altitude, malabsorption syndromes, drug interactions that interfere with vitamin D metabolism, or even just aging that decreases the capacity to synthesize vitamin D in the skin. When we are unable to synthesize effectively, then we may need to replace with oral vitamin D3. Some great vitamin D food sources are eggs, fatty fish, sun-exposed mushrooms and even liver but this may not be enough to get hormone D within a healthy range.

And how do I know if I have enough hormone D in my system? This can be checked with a blood test the next time you get your labs drawn. Our goal for vitamin D levels found in the blood is between 70-115, however, most people have levels between 20-50! The role of vitamin D is often overlooked but is very important in supporting our bodies to function at its optimal level to aid in bone health and a strengthened immune system. Hormone D is a small yet important piece in supporting our bodies so we can function and feel our best!

Sheena Twitchell, APRN, MSN, FNP-BC

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