While autumn brings the beauty of changing leaves, pumpkin spice everything and the inevitable lead in to winter, it also brings the inevitable decline of natural vitamin D.  For those of us who live in northern climates, the sun lays lower in the sky than the summer months limiting our time to absorb natural vitamin D. Also, our diets tend to change from fresh to frozen which contributes to our relatively low access to vitamin D. Because we aren’t receiving all of crucial vitamin we need, it is important to enhance this loss with supplements such a Ddrops, as well as making some time for winter sun despite the cold.

We need to think about vitamin D in the Fall and Winter for the following reasons:

Less sun time and more indoor time

Sadly, as the weather begins to get colder in some parts of the world, we tend to retreat indoors!  Also kids and teachers are back in school with a focus on studies. This cultural shift to spending time indoors is more evident in the fall and winter.  This means that we are not consistently making vitamin D in our skin as a result from being exposed to direct sunlight. Because we absorb the most vitamin D from the sun, in the winter, we need to look for other ways to supplement.

Mood?

Health authorities estimate that 10-20 percent of reoccurring depression follow a seasonal pattern. [8] There are many different, powerful reasons that people become depressed. The underlying causes of depression are complex and there is little conclusive evidence. Researchers are actively looking at links between sunlight, a lack of vitamin D, and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), PMS and mood swings. [1] In a 2015 study from the Pacific Northwest,[2] low vitamin D levels were associated with symptoms of depression. Still, health authorities are not ready to recommend vitamin D as a treatment or preventative measure for mood disorders.  The evidence is still new and inconclusive. This is a promising area of study that we will continue to watch.

Immune system?

Victorian doctors routinely prescribed rest in a sanatorium soaking up the sun as a cure for tuberculosis, a successful treatment, which fell out of favour with the discovery of antibiotics.[3] A 2011 paper by Dr. Sylvia Arrow[4] showed that vitamin D arms and triggers T cells, the foot soldiers of our immune system, which destroy viruses, bacteria and other threats.[5] In a six-year study that tracked 19,000 patients, those with lower vitamin D levels reported more upper respiratory infections. The European Food Safety Authority considers vitamin D a contributor to the normal function of the immune system. [9] In North America, health authorities have not yet adopted this recommendation.

Chronic bone disease

Having sufficient vitamin D has been shown to prevent chronic illnesses such osteoporosis.[6] Maintaining a healthy level of vitamin D, not too low and not too high, helps the absorption and transportation of calcium and phosphorous throughout your body. [7]

Natalie Preddie is a Ddrops guest blogger. She is also a freelance writer who lives with her husband and dog in Toronto. They are expecting their first baby in September and they couldn’t be happier! Natalie has been published in the Toronto Star, Star Touch Magazine, PAX Magazine, Vv Magazine,The Baby Post and her popular travel blog, The Adventures of Natty P. Natalie believes that travel is the best education possible and encourages family and friends to explore, discover and learn in order to grow. Natalie also believes in finding deeper solutions in mind/body instead of just treating symptoms. In 2014, Natalie won the Canadian Public Relations Society: Young PR Pro of the Year Award. This year, Natalie won Travel Writer of the Year 2015 for her series on Ontario’s Norfolk County.  


[1] http://www.laurapower.com/page24.html

[2] https://weather.com/health/news/winter-vitamin-d-deficiency#/6

[3] https://weather.com/health/news/winter-vitamin-d-deficiency#/4

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/

[5] http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/459056/Boost-Vitamin-D-levels-winter-protect-body-and-mind-disease

[6] https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/2013/01/getting-vitamin-d-during-the-dead-of-winter

[7] http://www.laurapower.com/page24.html

[8] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004726/\

[9] EFSA Journal 2015;13(5):4096