Supplement Spotlight: Vitamin D

Article by Tanya Mezher

It seemed like winter would never end here in New York City, but technically it is spring, isn’t it? Afternoons in the park, blooming cherry blossoms, rooftop drinks - expectations are set for consistently sunny days. But May grey is no joke! Even as summer season slowly approaches, it is highly unlikely most of us will consistently get enough direct sunshine to produce adequate vitamin D. Although vitamin D can also be found in dietary sources of fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, egg yolks and fortified foods such as milk, cheese, and breakfast cereals - deficiency has become a global concern. Along with being locked at a desk behind windows all day, darker skin color and living at geographical locations above 35 degrees latitude (NYC is 40 degrees) are among other contributors of increased vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D plays a significant role in bone health through its regulation of calcium and phosphorus absorption and metabolism. It also supports other bodily functions such as muscle strength, heart health and immune function. Before rushing out to stock up on multivitamins or supplements, a comprehensive blood test can determine if an individual is vitamin D deficient. Generally, levels below 20 ng/mL may indicate vitamin D deficiency and this may warrant supplementation. According to Consumer Labs (an independent testing and online review of nutritional products), the overall top picks for vitamin D only supplements included:

1)   Source Naturals Vitamin D-3 liquid drops (easily adjustable)

2)   Thorne Research Vitamin D

3)   Kirkland Signature D3 2000 IU (high dose)

4)   Vitacost Vitamin D3 Mini Gels (very high dose)

5)   Bio Tech D3-50 (extremely high dose)

Definitely check with your healthcare providers or reach out for more information as to what is best for you and your overall health. And remember to get some skin-safe amounts of sun this summer!