Vitamin D is widely known as being essential for the absorption of calcium in the gut, but did you know it also functions as a powerful prevention and treatment for diseases? Let’s unpack some lesser known functions of Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin.
The body cannot make Vitamin D on its own, however, it is converted by special skin cells which become stimulated when exposed to UVB rays from the sun. Unfortunately, UVB rays are also known to cause skin cancer, which means this type of exposure is best avoided. It should be noted that tanning or the use of tanning beds cannot be justified on the basis of Vitamin D, as the risk for melanoma is too grave. Other ways for the body to obtain essential Vitamin D are supplements, foods such as salmon, mackerel, egg yolks, and fortified foods such as milk, cereal, and cheese. Since dietary supplementation is typically difficult for most people to be compliant with on a daily basis, a large number of people are deficient in Vitamin D, especially during the winter months. In addition, if you spend a lot of time indoors, are following a strict vegan diet, are on anticonvulsant medications, have intestinal absorption issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, are immobilized, or over the age of 70, it is recommended to have your Vitamin D checked at least once. Not only is Vitamin D important for strong bones; preventing osteomalacia in the eldelry and rickets in children, it also works to strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation in the body, and even works to battle depression.
Vitamin D for Respiratory Health
Vitamin D is capable of minimizing lung inflammation while also enhancing your immune defense mechanisms against respiratory pathogens. This super vitamin boosts your immune defenses by regulating T Cells, one of the most important white blood cells of the immune system. Experts agree that Vitamin D is widely known to greatly protect patients suffering from tuberculosis, the common cold, and COPD, and may prevent respiratory illnesses from progressing severely.
Reduce Depression with Vitamin D
Low levels of Vitamin D contribute to higher rates of depression in any age-group, however some demographics are especially at risk for Vitamin D deficient related depression. These demographics are men over the age of 70, postpartum women, and adolescents.
Men with low levels of Vitamin D are twice as likely to be depressed than men who have adequate levels of Vitamin D, regardless of any existing comorbidities. Vitamin D is believed to work comparably to an antidepressant by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Other signs and symptoms of Vitamin D deficiencies may include fatigue, speech stutters, muscle aches and cramps, and bone pain.
Women who are pregnant are even more likely to be low in Vitamin D. Especially during the postpartum period, Vitamin D is essential for mind-body recovery. Pregnancy and birth depletes Vitamin D from the body because calcium demands increase in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and there is usually less circulating Vitamin D available due to the increase in blood volume. According to this study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, “adverse health outcomes such as preeclampsia, low birthweight, neonatal hypocalcemia, poor postnatal growth, bone fragility, and increased incidence of autoimmune diseases have been linked to low vitamin D levels during pregnancy and infancy.” Despite the widespread use of prenatal vitamins, these are often inadequate to maintain normal vitamin D levels.
Adolescents are also at risk for Vitamin D deficient related depression. Adolescence is a period of rapid skeletal growth and higher amounts of Vitamin D is needed to absorb and utilize calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D can increase dopamine levels in the brain, inhibit depression causing proteins in the brian, regulate mood, sleep, appetite, memory, and learning. Studies show that in as little as three months, adolescents that supplement with Vitamin D may see an improvement in their mood and energy levels.
Vitamin D Injections
Vitamin D supplementation is an easy and cost effective way to enhance the quality of your bones, but now we also see how it can improve symptoms of depression, reduce inflammation, improve the immune response, and avoid severe respiratory illnesses. Travel, stress, life changes, and living at high altitude can take a toll on the body. Here at Aspen Ketamine Center, we provide Vitamin D injections so you can feel healthier and more energetic in minutes.
Vitamin D can be supplemented in injectable form, as an intramuscular (IM) shot and is a more efficient way of taking Vitamin D. Most people lack consistency in taking oral supplements which often leads to deficiency due to the digestive processes that greatly diminishes the actively available Vitamin D dosage (often only 10% of the dose ingested will be available where it is needed). A typical IM dose consists of 50,000IU Vitamin D3 injected into the muscle, where it is absorbed much more efficiently (90% of the dose given will be available) and repeat doses are only needed every 4-6 months.
Vitamin D injections can be administered as an add on to any of our other Vitamin Infusion options. IV Nutrition Therapy can be administered right here at our center or we can come to you. Learn more about our Fresh Start IV Hydration, Nutrition and Recovery Packages here.
Disclaimer: If you feel ill or sick please consult with your doctor and continue taking any prescribed regimens.