Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winter’s Vitamin D Dilemma

January is here and that means New Year’s cheer, new resolutions and of course for dwellers in the Northern Hemisphere –winter!  Some of us welcome the opportunity to dive into all of this season’s fun taking advantage of whatever Mother Nature throws our way --be it snowballs, or freshly powdered mountains.

Others of us prefer to hibernate on the couch with a cup of hot steaming cocoa and wait for the return of spring before willingly venturing outside again. Whether you are a cold weather enthusiast or more akin to a bear in a deep sleep, there is no question that in the dead of winter, we are all exposed to less sunlight, and as a result, our bodies are producing less Vitamin D.

Here’s what we know about Vitamin D and why our bodies need it stay healthy. Not only is it an essential immune system regulator - think common cold prevention, but recent studies have shown that children who are Vitamin D deficient are at risk for a number of far more serious problems.

First Lady Michelle Obama recently declared an obesity epidemic in the US, and has launched a major initiative against childhood obesity.

The latest research shows that overweight children are far more likely to suffer from Vitamin D deficiencies than their normal weight counterparts.  (Parents: skipping breakfast and drinking sodas were also strongly correlated with low levels of the vitamin). 

If that news wasn’t enough to give you pause, a new British study linked Vitamin D deficiency with increased severity and frequency of childhood asthma symptoms. Without this vitamin, our children can’t breathe—literally.

So while the sun catches up with the other side of the world, let us know how you plan take to advantage of these winter months to have fun and stay healthy.