The health supplement business in America is huge. The most recent figures indicate that well over $28 billion is spent each year on herbs, vitamins and other, mostly unregulated, supplements. Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is amongst one of the most popular supplements taken by Americans. However, a recent analysis conducted by Kaiser Permanente reveals that consumers may not be getting what they pay for when it comes to their vitamin D supplement.
The study looked at 55 bottles of over-the-counter vitamin D pills from 12 manufacturers. The bottles were purchased from five different stores in the Portland Oregon region. The test results indicated that a great variation in potency not only between manufacturers but also between pills from the same bottle. This is concerning especially for those who may be drastically deficient. If people are taking vitamin D believe their supplement has a certain percent of vitamin D and it actually has far less, they could be in trouble.
Quality is Critical
This study reinforces the fact that not all supplements are created equal and should never be used as a replacement for a healthy, balanced diet. Vitamin D deficiency is a widespread problem in our society and one that can lead to a number of health complications. Adequate vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption and can reduce the risk of death from heart disease and cancer. In addition, vitamin D plays a critical role in the treatment and prevention of diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and multiple sclerosis.
Getting Enough Vitamin D
Many grocery store foods are fortified with vitamin D, but only a few foods naturally contain the important vitamin. The best sources of vitamin D include a line up of fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines, tuna and catfish. Cod liver oil may be hard to stomach, but it is incredibly rich in vitamin D and omega 3-fatty acids. Just one Tablespoon of the oil is enough vitamin D for the day. Another surprising source of vitamin D is shitake and button mushrooms. These mushrooms suck up sunlight and are also rich in the B vitamins. Be sure that you consume only sun-dried mushrooms.
The best way to get vitamin D is through sun-synthesis. A mere fifteen to twenty minutes each day outside, preferably around midday, is enough time to soak up some sun and promote vitamin D synthesis in the body. If you don’t eat fish or sun-dried mushrooms, consider a high-quality supplement, specifically in a serum form without fillers or binders, and be sure to get outside each day.
Do you try and get some sun-time in each day if weather permits?
– The Alternative Daily