The Sunshine Vitamin: For the Working Woman
At GEM, we believe in the sunshine vitamin. She is our superwoman – our mood, immune system, and even our sleep depends on her. Three-quarters of Americans are vitamin D deficient, which is why we made this vitamin a key player in GEM (1).
For those of us who are sun-deprived, vitamin D is essential to our wellbeing. Even when we’re in the sun, the amount of vitamin D we actually absorb and process varies. That’s why GEM ensures an extra boost to fill in the gaps.
While our bodies naturally produce vitamin D when we’re exposed to sunlight, it’s not always enough.
Turns out, this exposure comes with a lot of variables - the season, our distance to the equator, how much sunscreen we wear, the weather, our daily habits and more. All of these elements directly affect how much vitamin D we produce on our own. If you’re someone who works inside all day, there’s a chance you can’t produce as much vitamin D as someone who is outside daily, even for just ten minutes.
Where else can we get our sunshine vitamin?
Most sources come from fish, dairy, animal or fortified processed foods, which include (2):
- Fish liver oils and the flesh of fatty fishes like salmon, tuna, and mackerel.
- Fortified foods, such as some milk, cereal, and OJ products, which provide most of the vitamin D in the American diet.
- Small amounts are found in animal-based foods like beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks.
So if you’re working most of the day indoors or have a diet that’s vegan, gluten-free, and lacking in fortified foods, it may be difficult to get all your Vitamin D. That’s where GEM comes in! We get this supervitamin from a completely vegan, organic source – mushrooms. They are one of the most natural sources of vitamin D because they absorb it through the same element as us – the sun!
Calcium? Check. Phosphorus? Check. A diet rich in vitamin D helps us better absorb critical minerals already present in our diet! When we’re deficient in certain minerals, it doesn’t always mean we need more, sometimes we just don’t have enough vitamin D to absorb them. At GEM, we want you to get the most out of every meal!
A lack of sunshine affects more than just our bones. Research has found that if we don’t get enough vitamin D, our serotonin levels may drop. Serotonin is known for contributing to our to wellbeing, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as the “happy chemical” (3). One study found that people with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11x more prone to be depressed than those who received healthy doses of this supervitamin (4).
Immune System Support
Vitamin D can help our immune systems function properly
- One study found that high circulating levels of vitamin D could reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis (5).
- Another study says it could have a role in the prevention or treatment of cardiovascular disease (6).
- Research has found that insufficient vitamin D contributes to osteoporosis by reducing calcium absorption (7).
Even when the sun goes down, vitamin D plays an important role. It helps ensure a good night’s sleep. This study found that low levels of Vitamin D might lead to less than 5 hours of quality shut-eye a night (8).
Why it’s Vital to GEM Women
A 2009 study suggests that an estimated 75% of US teens and adults are deficient in vitamin D. For all you working women out there slaying away on your computers, we think it’s important to ensure that you are gapped up on this nutrient -- not only for your mood, immune system, and quality of sleep, but also for its health benefits unique to women such as:
- Menstrual regularity – Irregular periods, though common, sometimes can signal a deeper problem in our body (9). To improve menstrual cycle regularity, vitamin D is here to save the day! Vitamin D may our influence our cycle’s regularity through its associations with pathways in our system, like AMH, insulin, androgens, or a yet to be identified pathway.
- Fertility improvement – Vitamin D is an essential for women who want to get pregnant (10). Being deficient in vitamin D disrupts our female reproductive system; In one rat study, vitamin D deficiency decreased fertility by 75% (11).
- Glucose metabolism – Vitamin D is insulin’s wing-women in breaking down sugar and glucose which can help improve insulin sensitivity which is a condition that some women incur particularly if they struggle with PCOS (12).
Our lifestyles have never had the opportunity to be more fulfilling. But everything comes with a tradeoff. Count the hours spent in meetings, commuting, handling commitments – and those are hours lost to getting your Vitamin D the way nature intended. Fortunately, GEM is here to provide a way to close that gap. Naturally.