Vitamin D is the new “it” vitamin.
And it’s no wonder that the sunshine vitamin is getting its time in the sun. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a host of diseases and conditions from brittle bones and heart disease to cancer and diabetes.
It’s called the “sunshine vitamin” because our bodies produce it when exposed to sunlight. As such, levels clearly dip during the cold, winter months (not to mention all of the D-depleting effects of the sunscreen we slather on to avoid skin cancer). While some foods are fortified with vitamin D (namely milk), it can be hard to get all we need from foods. The Institute of Medicine recommends 600 international units (IU) a day for teens and adults, or 800 IU for those older than 70, and some groups feel that this bar was set too low.
Enter Skin Authority’s VitaD Fortified Illuminating Duo. This product combines a topical elixir that assists the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D with an ingestible 100% vegan whole food spice powder that is manufactured by Dole Nutrition. Each teaspoon equals 600 IU of vitamin D. The products are sold separately or together for $79.
The new product may come at a good time. A recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that many vitamin D supplements, including those purchased over-the-counter or via a compounding pharmacy, don’t contain what their labels say they do. The study showed great variability from bottle to bottle and pill to pill.
Susan Zweig, MD, an endocrinologist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, says that the best and only way to know if you are deficient in Vitamin D is to get a blood test. “Based on the results of this test, your doctor can give you advice about how much vitamin D you need and how best to get it.”