There are so many benefits to using Vitamin D for immune health. Have you seen the recent NY times article that recommended checking vitamin D levels if you’re concerned about immunity in general? It’s commonly low, especially through winter time, not to mention the stress of our current uncertain times.
If you’re already taking Vitamin D, let’s discuss how you can maximize it. If you’re not, you might want to consider it. I’ve done a lot of functional testing in my practice over the last 13 years, and while testing is never a bad idea, it’s definitely one of the few things I think can be safely added for moderate periods of time.
Speaking of testing, and stress, rebalancing our stress hormone cortisol (whether high or low) is an important piece of the puzzle for immunity, equestrian and all sports performance, *and* long term health. While Vitamin D does play a role with lowering cortisol levels, addressing the entire cortisol and adrenal picture with functional testing is the best route to go.
Let’s dive a little deeper into supporting your Vitamin D level. Timing is a factor. Since natural morning sunlight is best for resetting your circadian (and cortisol) rhythm, Vitamin D should be taken at this time as well. So, when supplementing, it’s best to take with your first meal of the day!
If we look more specifically at timing, and taking Vitamin D with your first meal of the day, morning sunlight, let’s not underestimate the power of Mother Nature and the natural form that she provides for us. While we do want to protect ourselves from longer sun exposure, 20-30 minutes of *morning* sunshine will do wonders for mood, Vitamin D levels and more.
Vitamin D is a “fat soluble” vitamin which means that it needs to be taken with fat for highest absorption. So in order to get the most from your Vitamin D supplement, be sure that your first meal contains some high quality fats such as avocados, coconut or coconut oil, eggs (making sure to keep the yolk intact!), nuts, seeds or MCT oil. These foods will also do wonders for balanced hormones, energy and more.
If you’re like me and prefer a “food first” approach, the foods highest in Vitamin D are salmon, whole eggs, yogurt, cheese, mushrooms and collard greens.
If you choose to go the supplement route, in addition to incorporating the aforementioned Vitamin D food sources, the source, quality and formulation of Vitamin D supplements are also a huge factor in efficacy.
“Vitamin D3 should be taken with the natural form of K2, otherwise the body will start forming bone spurs and calcification in places we don’t want it. I saw major problems in women with osteoporosis developing bone spurs. Turns out, they were taking calcium and D3; without K2. The K2 helps direct it to the large bones instead of joints. [Often times] K2 is missing from our diets because of grain fed animals and lack of fermented foods.” says Linnie O’Flanagan, L.Ac. & M.S. TCM.
My favorites formula is actually a liquid version of Vitamin D combined with K2. I do hope this article was helpful! Feel free to CONTACT ME if you need help finding the right formula!
Cert. CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach
Adv. Metabolic Typing Advisor
Kalish Method Functional Med. Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Ketogenic Nutrition & Metabolic Protocols
Performance Nutrition for Equestrian Athletes
PS – we will definitely be chatting all things immune supplements in the future. What works and what to NOT waste your money on. If that is a topic that excites you before then, feel free to CLICK HERE to check out a few of my favorites!