There has been a great deal of recent research on the importance of vitamin D and how widespread vitamin D deficiency is. Most of us are now aware that we need a small amount of sun exposure daily to top up our vitamin D levels. Many of us are aware that this exposure must be to specific UVB rays that are only available to us when the sun is high in the sky (so only in the summer months in Northern Europe), and that these rays can be blocked by pollution, cloud cover, precipitation, clothing, glass, sun tan lotion and sun block.
It now transpires that in order to then utilise the hormonal form of vitamin D3 required to protect us from a large number of chronic illnesses and conditions including MS, diabetes and cancer, our cortisol levels need to be in balance. Which in nutshell means we need healthy sleep patterns and balanced stress levels.
High levels of the stress hormone cortisol, along with other glucocorticoid hormones, prevent the vitamin D receptors on our cells from taking up vitamin D3, and so the DNA in those cells is unable to respond to the triggers vitamin D3 provides for gene expression. High cortisol levels occur during periods of prolonged stress (physical and/or emotional) and late nights – ideally we need to be fully asleep by midnight, so that our cortisol levels can naturally reduce in the early morning hours. This means even if your blood serum levels of vitamin D test high, you may not be utilising your vitamin D3 effectively.
So to get the best out of your vitamin D supplementation, it could be worth considering some adrenal support – such as vitamins B5, B6 and C alongside organic magnesium and essential fatty acids – plus a lifestyle that ensures plenty of relaxation to balance those busy times; an early-to-bed routine that helps keep your cortisol levels in their natural cycle is an ideal start!