Updated: May 4
Effective brain training requires a holistic approach that includes cognitive, physical, metabolic and lifestyle factors that are related to brain health.
Getting out in the sun has several factors that are important for brain health and brain function. Many people are aware that there is a relationship between sun exposure and vitamin D.
There are five types of D vitamins. Each of them has a different role in the body. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it produces a bioactive or readily available form of Vitamin D known as cholecalciferol.
Vitamin D doesn’t act like other vitamins. Some people say it shouldn’t be considered a vitamin because it acts as a pre-hormone. Vitamin D is used to synthesize many of the hormones that circulate through our bodies. If we don’t have adequate stores of vitamin D, we can’t form cholesterol appropriately, as well as other types of hormones that help the body and brain work efficiently.
It’s important to note, there are people in certain cultures that can’t absorb vitamin D very well, or can’t convert vitamin D into the appropriate source. There are also individuals that need to take vitamin D supplements.
There are also challenges for people that have had gallbladder removed. The gallbladder stores surplus bile created by the liver. One of the things this does is to help the body to digest fats. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin.
It’s critical to understand that if you’re having problems with vitamin D levels that there are things you can do about it. They are very easily measured. There are many different ways for you to get around that and it’s worthy of discussion with your health care provider as well as a healthcare provider that specializes in functional medicine. There are several different options such as pills, sublingual under the tongue, and topical forms of vitamin D supplements.
If you don’t have a medical condition influencing your vitamin D levels, then the best way to get the bioactive stores of vitamin D is to get out into the sun.
Now for those people that are living in climates that don’t get a lot of suns. However, it doesn’t take a long time 10, 15, or 20 minutes in direct sunlight can really help to boost vitamin D levels better than any pill ever could.
Be ever mindful of over-exposure; always get an annual all-over skin exam by a dermatologist, and don’t forget the sunscreen!
Contributor Author: Dr. Michael Trayford is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and Founder of APEX Brain Centers in Asheville, NC. For additional information, and to learn more, please visit our Author's page.
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