Unless you are taking supplements or get plenty of sun, your Vitamin D tank is more than likely running on E and empty is no way to be if you want to stay healthy long term.Vitamin D helps improve our cardiovascular, muscular and skeleton health but studies show we typically have to supplement to get enough.
For years, health and nutrition experts have told us it's best to get our vitamins and minerals in their natural state. In other words, eat them. Bright colored fruits and vegetables are stock full of what our bodies need to function properly. That doesn't always apply to Vitamin D which we get from the sun and isn't naturally present in very many foods. UVB rays convert a cholesterol in our skin to Vitamin D.
Registered Dietician Joanne Shearer at the Avera Heart Hospital says, "Around here in the summer months you have to have your arms and legs exposed to sun for 10 minutes at least 3 times a week between the hours of 11:00 and 1:00 (not wearing sunscreen) to generate 10,000 IU of Vitamin D per exposure."
Cardiologist Dr. James O'Keefe says, "In climates north of Atlanta it's really tough to get enough Vitamin D so we recommend 1000 to 2000 International Units of Vitamin D, and preferably Vitamin D-3 a day."
Dr. O'Keefe is a cardiologist from MidAmerica Heart Institute in Kansas City who lectured at North Central Heart's Annual Fall Symposium. He and his wife, Joan who is a Registered Dietician, have also written a book called "the Forever Young Diet and Lifestyle. D being key.
Dr. O'Keefe says, "These are the studies we've been working on and they show that being deficient of Vitamin D predisposes us to high blood pressure , diabetes, inflammation. All of which are fundamentally involved in causing heart disease."
Dr. O'keefe also recommends 2 to 3 servings of Omega-3 a week. You get that in fatty fish like salmon. Since most of us don't eat that much salmon a week an easy solution is taking 2 or 3 capsules of fish oil a day. The biggest complaint of fish oil is it tastes fishy or you continuallyburp it up. I found one brand, Nordic Naturals that doesn't have any of that. I got it at Science Nutrition. I've been taking it for a month and it really has no after taste.
Dr. O'Keefe says, "It's been proven unequivocally by supplementing Omega 3 it will help improve cardiovascular health, reduce sudden death, it's good for the brain, good for mood."
And he says it's good for cognitive thinking. Engage your brain now by taking Vitamin D and Omega-3. If you think about it, it's a pretty easy way to help your heart tomorrow.
It's important to note, if you aren't sure what your Vitamin D levels are, Joanne Shearer says you should get them checked with a simple blood test because if you are taking a multi-vitamin with only 400 units of D, it may not be enough.