What is vitamin D?
How do I get it?
Vitamin D is nicknamed the "sunshine vitamin" for a reason! Your body will produce this vitamin when your skin comes in contact with ultraviolet (UVB) rays. But be careful! This UVB light can also cause sunburns. Consult your doctor before spending too much unprotected time in the sun, and consider taking a supplement to safely achieve optimal levels.
The Sunshine Vitamin and Diabetes
Recent research has linked vitamin D to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Vitamin D is present in beta cells in the pancreas. Beta cells rely on calcium to produce and secrete insulin to manage blood sugar. Since calcium absorption is reliant on vitamin D, correcting your levels may increase proper insulin function.
"For people with insulin resistance, vitamin D can make a big difference. This is a cheap, safe, effective solution that could make a real impact." - Dr. Meredith Hawkins, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Why else is it important?
In addition to diabetes management, vitamin D can impact your mental health and heart health. Studies show a strong correlation between insufficient levels of vitamin D and depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and heart disease. Because of this, many healthcare providers prescribe sun exposure to combat these medical conditions. Sufficient vitamin D can boost mood and decrease the production of harmful cholesterol.
Can I overdo it?
It is difficult to over consume vitamin D—even with supplementation—but you can easily take in too much sun. Sunburns are dangerous! Getting burned can stress your body, and this stress may raise your blood glucose. So, be sure to drink plenty of water and limit your time in direct light. Now go outside and get your sunshine vitamin! 😎