Welcome to 2023 everyone – and welcome back to the Clinical Corner! 

At the beginning of the year, we see temperatures drop, a flu season in full swing, and more reasons than ever to stay inside and keep warm. During this time, it’s important that we all be mindful of our health – and our vitamin D levels that work to support us.

Vitamin D foods such as salmon, tuna, sardines, orange juice, and dairy products, are proven to have a positive impact on our bodies and overall health. Simply put, vitamin D is something that we all need – whether you’re making plans for retirement or are just learning about it in elementary school. 

Typically, you’ll receive your vitamin D levels via lab test when you go for your physical. Your doctor can tell you all about the benefits of vitamin D can have on your health – which include but are not limited to:

  • Reducing inflammation in the body, therefore reducing pain in muscles and joints.
  • Fending off weight gain by keeping your body in balance and preventing cravings.
  • Preventing illness by being a key contributor in helping build your immunities.
  • Preventing osteoporosis, osteomalacia, and rickets in children.
  • Improving the healing of wounds.

Don’t forget – one of the best sources for vitamin D is sunshine! The amount of time spent in the sun depends on your pigmentation – but 15 to 20 minutes a day at least three times a week can do wonders for your vitamin D intake. 

Did you know? There are ongoing studies of the impact that vitamin D deficiency has on certain cancers – including colon, breast, and prostate. One trial suggested that the use of vitamin D supplements caused the risk of obtaining these cancers to fall by 23%. Another suggested that vitamin D helps lower your risk of Multiple Sclerosis. These are both areas we’ll be watching closely as more results are made available to the public.

Where can I find vitamin D supplements? Supplements can be obtained at your local grocery store or pharmacy. It’s recommended that you combine vitamin D with calcium, as you cannot absorb calcium without the correct level of vitamin D in your body. Be sure to check with your physician before adding any supplements to your daily regime – because too much vitamin D is just as bad as too little!

As we step into 2023 and beyond, we’ll continue to learn more about how vitamin D helps keeps our bodies balanced and healthy. In the meantime, let’s do what we can to make sure we’re getting as much vitamin D it as we need!

-Rhonda Dempsey, Chief Nursing Officer

To learn more about Vitamin D, visit WebMD’s The Truth About Vitamin D’s Health Benefits and The Mayo Clinic’s Vitamin D overview.