Or is it? Vitamin D does in fact come into our bloodstream through the sun's contact with our skin but this process requires conversion from your liver and often we remain deficient even with frequent sun exposure. Which we none the less still recommend for the whole fam ;)
There is, however a lot of misconception about vitamin D; what's a healthy level? how do we get it then? and why does it even matter? In the last years I've noticed western medicine is actually starting to catch on. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics doubled their recommendation on vitamin D, now saying that 400IU's daily is required for infants, children and teens to obtain optimal levels. But I find unless parents have been told by their pediatrician (rare) they aren't supplementing with Vitamin D daily and their littles are usually running shy on this essential vitamin.
In nearly all cases of labs I have looked at (the thousands) over the last 6+ years of my practice vitamin D was deficient. If our vitamin D level should ideally be 50-80 and most people are anywhere from 20-30 wouldn't you even call that very deficient? I would! And vitamin D is such a powerful vitamin for our immunity, brain health and the prevention of cancer. I am still shocked at how common of a deficiency it is, especially when it's such a simple one to fix.
Vitamin D is particularity important when it comes to regulating your immune system, so it's preventative and helpful for auto-immunity or hypo-immunity like situations. It's also critical when it comes to wanting to keep your little free of colds and flus (with school starting who doesn't?).
A study done on school children supplementing with vitamin D at a higher dose found that there was a significant reduction in one type of influenza, and also the incidence of asthma (Segawa et. al, 2010). Since Vitamin D helps reduce inflammation in regards to our immune system this would make sense since asthma is a case of inflammation in the lungs.
If you have an infant at home it's especially critical you start vitamin D supplementation to keep their immunity strong when they are so young and more vulnerable to getting sick. But moms, it's not just for your littles, I consistently see that both mom and dad are just as deficient as their littles and seem to require a dose more around 2,00oIU's daily to even bump their vitamin D at all. We always recommend using a highly absorbable liquid vitamin D3 and asking your doc on your next labs to add a vitamin D level, especially if you're pregnant or nursing!
While that summer sun did your general well being a lot of good, your vitamin D still requires a little extra support. Don't wait til winters through and your kiddos been sick more times than you can count, start supplementing now and make it count.
Xo Dani and Whitney