I may have mentioned this once or two dozen times before: I am not a fan of supplements. I have tried them over the years with various results but on the on the whole, I don’t think people should take them if they don’t need them. So, when all the hoopla started over Vitamin D supplements, I found myself cynically noting how many of these Vitamin D pushing doctors were associated with supplement companies.
Let me be clear that I do I think there are times when supplements may be necessary. Like so many other things I normally avoid but have had to embrace this year: conventional medicine, prescription pain-killers and protein shakes, I’ve begun using some supplements again for various lengths of time. The only one that I take regularly is a Vitamin B-12. I take it because my diet is essentially vegan and provides no opportunities for me to consume the bacterial by-product we like to call Vitamin B12.
By the way, there are serious doubts as to whether or not meat-eaters are getting proper amounts of B12 either. Some studies have shown that meat-eaters are as deficient in B12 as strict vegetarians. Other studies indicate that the amount of B12 required to avoid deficiency is so small that it is usually a non-issue for most people. I like science, especially when it helps me win an argument, but at the end of the day, my best indicator of whether I need something or not is how I feel. I know that when I go too long without a B12 supplement, I feel off.
I’d been taking B12 regularly. So, I knew that wasn’t the reason I felt out of sorts in early September this year. It was like winter came early. I felt like I was dragging and had the blues. As someone with a history of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), I don’t take this feeling lightly. I had been feeling like this for a while when I went outside and laid in the sun with shorts and bikini top on and soaked in the September afternoon sun for an hour. I felt significantly better and began to wonder if I was deficient in Vitamin D.
The sun is the best source for Vitamin D and I knew I wasn’t getting enough. I have a long work day with a long commute. Getting outside seems next to impossible most of the time. Mushrooms and almonds contain Vitamin D; many soy products are also fortified with Vitamin D (as is cow’s milk) but it seemed doubtful that I would consume enough to make up for the lack of sunshine in my life. Determined to avoid a wrestling with a bout of CFS (atop my current dental issues), I gave in and bought the vitamins. About a week later, I started feeling better. The blues subsided and my energy became unstuck. You could probably make an argument for a placebo effect but either way, it worked. I felt better and have been taking them ever since.
What are your thoughts and/or experiences with Vitamin D? Please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.
Love and Blessings to All,