Recovery Vitamins – Vitamin D

Food of vitamin D. View from above

It’s important to know each of the Vitamins and their role in our bodies.  Moreover, it is critical to know where to get these Vitamins in the way nature intended: Through our food.  Supplements work, but they’re manufactured, and not as potent as the real deal. There is no better way to get your nutrients than through real food that either grew in the earth or walked on it (apologies to our vegetarians).  

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is critical for the health of bones and teeth, as it is a key substance that permits the body to breakdown calcium.  Vitamin D is critical to a strong immune system and interacts with cells responsible for fighting infection.

Deficiencies manifest in weak bones and teeth, irritability, lack of energy, depression, frequent colds and flu.

Vitamin D can be obtained by eating wild caught salmon, wild caught mackerel, tuna, mushrooms egg yolk, and fortified dairy products.   Nature also intended for us to get Vitamin D through our skin as a result of a chemical process that converts direct sunlight into Vitamin D.


Age 35 and Up – Our Body Loses the Ability to Convert Sunlight to Vitamin D

After age 35, our bodies slowly lose the ability to manufacture Vitamin D through exposure to direct sunlight.  Moreover, after age 35, it is difficult to get enough Vitamin D through diet alone. It is highly recommended that you supplement your Vitamin D.  See your doctor to determine the correct dosage for you.  


Why People in Recovery Should Care

For people in recovery, Vitamin D is critical for two important reasons.  First, after years of substance abuse and poor nutrition, we need to fortify our bones and teeth to prevent the onset of osteoporosis and other bone related conditions.   Second,  Vitamin D will strengthen your immune system and help restore your body’s ability to fight off infection and illness.  I like many people in recovery was perpetually sick until I got sober and adopted healthy eating habits.  Lastly, Vitamin D impacts mood, and a deficiency can lead to depression.   

Before taking prescription medications to address mood or depression, we recommend a full blood screening to ascertain nutrient deficiencies. In many cases, but not all, simple diet modification can alleviate mood swings and depression.  Only you and your Doctor can determine the underlying cause of your condition.

Recommended reading: Food for Recovery, Dr. Joseph Beasley and Susan Knightly, Crown Trade Publishing, 1993, Nutritional Supplements, Joe Canon, MS, Infinity Publishing, 2008, The Vitamin Cure for Alcoholism, Dr. Abram Hoffer and Dr. Andrew W. Saul, Basic Health Publications, 2008.


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