Is There One Supplement You Should Take During the Colder Months? 

 January 1, 2014

By  Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

vitamin-ekg-200-300Mechanicsville Virginia Chiropractor – Is there one supplement you should take during the colder months?  Research shows there is a very good chance the answer to that question is YES, especially if you are an athlete or on a regular workout program.  Here is why…

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is essential for good health.  The main function of Vitamin D is to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in our bones and aid in cell-to-cell communication throughout the body.  Vitamin D is unique from other essential vitamins because humans can produce it through exposure to sunlight.

If you get enough exposure to sunlight, you will have plenty of Vitamin D so you can probably already see where this article is headed…

The first problem with all this is, due to the fear of skin cancer, even in the summer months, many people do not get adequate sun exposure for their bodies to produce enough Vitamin D.

In winter, it is simply a fact that there is a lot less sunlight.  If you live in higher latitudes, chances are you are not going to get enough sun exposure during the colder months to produce sufficient levels of Vitamin D.

In fact, a study recently published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism stated: “A high prevalence of Vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency, which may impact on health and training ability, is evident among athletes worldwide.”

The study investigated the Vitamin D status of elite Irish boxers and recorded the effect of Vitamin D supplementation. A group of boxers were supplemented during the winter months with 5,000 IU Vitamin D3 for 10-12 weeks. The result was that this supplementation significantly increased blood levels of Vitamin D and corrected any insufficiencies/ deficiencies in these athletes.  Three out of four boxers who did not receive the supplementation were Vitamin D insufficient/ deficient after winter, and 35% were insufficient/ deficient at the beginning of the study (which was before the winter months).

The study’s conclusion: “This study has highlighted a high prevalence of Vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency among elite Irish athletes and demonstrated that wintertime Vitamin D3 supplementation is an appropriate regimen to ensure Vitamin D sufficiency in athletes during winter and early spring.

Another study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (Nov. 2013) tested their own group of elite athletes and found similar results that support the same conclusion.

Here is a quick aside if you are an athlete…  A study published in the journal Cytokine (July 2013) found that Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in exercise induced muscle damage and inflammation in rats.  Obviously, rats are not humans, and more studies need to be done but having your levels of Vitamin D in the appropriate range is really looking like a great idea.

According to The Endocrine Society’s guidelines published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (July 2011): “Considering that Vitamin D deficiency is very common in all age groups and that few foods contain Vitamin D, the Task Force recommended supplementation at suggested daily intake and tolerable upper limit levels, depending on age and clinical circumstances.”

Because everyone is individual, this newsletter will not give any recommendation as to anyone’s personal Vitamin D needs.  The best thing to do is discuss this with a health care provider who is knowledgeable on this subject.

FDA Moving To Ban Popular Ingredient In “Junk” Food

In a press release dated November 7, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “announced its preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not ‘generally recognized as safe’ for use in food.  The FDA’s preliminary determination is based on available scientific evidence and the findings of expert scientific panels.”

It looks like artificial trans fats will be banned, and manufacturers will be forced to reformulate the products that contain them.

Trans fats are made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils.  The hydrogenation of oils increases their shelf life, but it is also wonderful at clogging arteries.  This was originally done so food would not spoil, but storage conditions have vastly improved and these trans fats are no longer needed.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, reducing trans fat consumption by avoiding artificial trans fats could prevent 10,000 – 20,000 heart attacks and 3,000 – 7,000 coronary heart disease deaths each year in the United States.

It’s been well documented that artificial trans fats can do very bad things to the body and are strongly linked to poor lipid levels and poor cardiovascular outcomes.

Trans fatty acids have similar properties as saturated fats in that they both increase LDL “bad” cholesterol if consumed in excessive quantities.  High LDL has been associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

The Irony

There is quite a bit of irony here.  Not too long ago, margarine was considered a healthy alternative to butter.  Countless people made the switch thinking they were improving their health.  As it turns out, margarine is loaded with artificial trans fats.  Most brands contain between 1.5 – 3 grams per serving.

The bottom line is, try to eat as natural as you can.  If it is artificial, chances are it is not your best choice.

Don’t forget, if you ever have any questions or concerns about your health, talk to us. Contact us with your questions. We’re here to help and don’t enjoy anything more than participating in providing you natural pain relief.

We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services. If you, a friend or family member requires care, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

Thanks for reading,20130311-200124.jpg

Dr. Tripp Stover

Stover Chiropractic, P.C. –  Real. Simple. Healthcare.




We are located at 9097 Atlee Station Road in Mechanicsville, Virginia, 23111.  This is a Hanover county address, but we are minutes from Glenn Allen, Innsbrook, Sandston, and Varina.  We also serve many people from King William and New Kent Counties.  Our close proximity to I295 means we are very easy to reach from anywhere in the Richmond Metro area.  Contact us: 804-559-1100

NOTE: You should NOT take this as medical advice.
This article is of the opinion of its author.
Before you do anything, please consult with your chiropractor or medical doctor.

Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

Dr. Stover grew up in Richmond. He has been married to his wife Andrea since 2000 and they make their home in Mechanicsville with their children, Avery and Garnett.

Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

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