Vitamin D


"Winter sucks in Minnesota," I began venting to my sister about my busy college schedule, working full time, and trying to maintain sanity with a social life. I was stressed and worn out. She cut me off halfway through and the nurse in her came out "maybe its a vitamin D deficiency. Ever hear of SADS?"

I got onto google and found out that its more common to affect woman, begins in the early twenties, and is due to lack of sunlight therefore shows up during the winter months.

My curiosity was spiked and I began asking around, maybe other people had experience with this. So I asked the hypochondriac I worked with. She urged me to go buy some Vitamin D3 at Walgreens immediately. Since its relatively cheap being maybe three dollars, harmless, with practically no side effects (unless overdosing for a long period of time) I decided to try it out. I waited a few weeks, but after her daily encouragements I finally went down and bought some soft gels that were on sale.

It's hard to know if it worked or not. Was it a placebo affect that made me feel a little more energized? Or were the vitamins actually doing their job? I eventually quit taking them as spring came, that was last winter 2010-2011.

This winter 2011-2012, I'm trying out a different option my sister suggested that she also does: tanning. My opinion after going the last five months, its definitely therapeutic. After asking half a dozen others that go tanning will agree and say so too. Tanning isn't just about self absorbed image insecurities as the media portrays. It has health benefits--with moderation.

I'll admit I was nervous to go at first, I didn't want to turn out looking orange. But I wanted the health benefits of tanning. So I only went a few minutes each week. After a little more experience, the orange-ness that girls get I observed is from using tanning lotions that dye the skin.

The week when I'm able to go tanning, yes, I do feel more energized during the winter. When I skip a few weeks, I end up feeling tired and stressed more easily. Now whether that's from raising vitamin D levels, or just spending a little bit of 'me time' with a busy schedule is uncertain. But I can definitely agree that it works.

I've also researched that diets help, but most foods do not naturally contain vitamin D. But the vitamin does get added into some foods, such as milk, cereal, and orange juice. Which sounds like breakfast.

Being busy, I rarely take the time to sit down and eat in the mornings before rushing off to school or work. And we always hear how its the most important meal of the day for various reasons (like since it boosts metabolism.) Even if you don't have a vitamin deficiency, eating breakfast is still a great way to start the day. I know when I do, I have more energy to get me through the day.

Sarah Dahlheimer

Vitamin Supplements




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