Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Ann Arbor Michigan

A Daily Dose of Sunshine Gets Us Through the Winter

Nov 27, 2017 11:44PM

We all want to know what we can do to avoid getting sick this winter. One answer is taking adequate doses of vitamin D. It is called the sunshine vitamin because skin exposure to sunshine is required in the production pathway of vitamin D. This means that the dark months of winter are a bad thing for vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D has long been known for its importance in maintaining bone health. Over the past 20 years, it has become increasingly evident that vitamin D has many other benefits, particularly to the immune system. Recent studies have shown that it can dampen immune over-reaction, as well as inducing anti-bacterial peptides. This means that vitamin D could prevent infections or make them less severe.

Two new articles have been able to confirm that taking vitamin D does prevent respiratory infections, and the benefits of vitamin D supplementation were greatest in people that had low levels to start with. The studies also suggested that daily vitamin D supplementation gave better protection than once per week bolus [large, single] doses. Typical over-the-counter doses for adults are 2000-3000 units during the winter.

James Neuenschwander, M.D., is board certified in emergency medicine, integrative and holistic medicine, as well as anti-aging and regenerative medicine at Bio Energy Medical Center, in Ann Arbor. For more information, visit

Our Latest Digital Issue