Tag Archives: D

From the Sunshine State to the Windy City: An Interview with Cory Vogt

By Margo Ruter

A Florida native, Cory Vogt is spending is first winter in Chicago, and recently felt the first snow of the season. But for Cory, it was his first snow. Florida, the Sunshine State, has been home to him for twenty years. Although most of us are used to the decline of available Vitamin D from November to March, we took a minute to sit down with the rookie himself and see how things are going.

Occam’s Taser: What was your first reaction when you saw snow?
Cory Vogt: It was slightly surreal. I really didn’t know what to expect. Ever since I got here in March, people have been telling me horror stories about the winters here. It’s funny because it’s always “not last year, but the year before” that was the worst winter ever.

OT: What do most people say is the worst part?
CV: The short and gray days. I’m so used to long and sunny days in Florida, it didn’t make total sense to me. It was such a new thing to imagine. But now it gets dark at 4:30 in the afternoon, it’s so limiting. In Florida it stays sunny out until 7:00 all year round, so adjusting to the darkness has been a challenge.

OT: How have the gray days been on your psyche so far?
CV: Well it’s definitely been strange. Going from constant sun, to constant gray for a week or so is incredibly weird. I anticipate a few rough days in February, but I don’t think it will disrupt my life.

OT: Sunlight is one of the crucial providers of Vitamin D. Have you noticed any physiological effects with this climate change?
CV: I’m just very mellow. It almost feels like a slower pace, but that doesn’t make sense, it’s Chicago. I have noticed that my allergies are no longer a problem. I’m allergic to just about everything under the sun, so I moved somewhere with less sunlight, and bam – problem solved.

OT: A common effect of less Vitamin D in your diet is a weakened immune system. Have you been sick at all?
CV: I got sick when I first moved. I haven’t been sick since then, but I do feel fatigued more often. I have been sleeping a lot more. I’ll wake up and still be tired for a longer period of time. The sun has a natural way of waking you up to begin with, so without it, it’s pretty hard to shake it off in the morning.

OT: Do you take vitamins at all?
CV: I take a multi-vitamin. I like to make sure it has Vitamin D in it because I know that my source has been greatly diminished. I also take a lot of B Vitamins. They help pick up the slack the sun left behind.

OT: What are some of your concerns as the winter continues and the days get shorter?
CV: I think just staying active and productive. I’ve noticed that it’s really easy to get sucked into the grayness, especially if you don’t utilize what little day there is. I worry about the cold and snow in terms of transportation because it’s something I’ve never had to battle.

OT: You definitely need a legitimate set of winter gear. Are you prepared?
CV: I’m getting there. As the days get colder, I’m realizing the kind of things I need to buy. Thicker gloves are next.

OT: Have you considered fake baking to get that extra Vitamin D that you miss from Florida?
CV: No. But I’ll keep it in mind.

As you can see, Florida consistently has more hours of sunlight per day than Illinois. While Florida residents may not have to worry about a Vitamin D deficiency, Illinois residents should take special care from November to April while sunlight is grim.

Perhaps Cory will have a colder winter than most, but we can rest assured that Occam’s Taser reminded him of the dangers of Vitamin D deficiency. Being aware of the challenging differences from Florida to Chicago is the first step in overcoming the winter blues and staying healthy. Keep on your vitamins and stay warm kids.

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Interview: An Insider’s Take On Tanning

By Daniella Lee

Vitamin D is the secret steroid that provides benefits such as a longer, healthier life and overall happiness. But when the sun sets and the winter cold creeps up, the recommended intake for Vitamin D might be a little difficult to reach. A possible solution: tanning salons. Now, we’re not suggesting you turn into Snooki, but she may be onto something. This week, we sat down with Melina Vincent, an employee at Halsted Tan and Spa to find out if tanning salons can provide you with that extra vitamin D you need to get through the winter.

Occam’s Taser: What tanning services are offered at Halsted Tan and Spa?
Melina Vincent: We offer UVA tanning (helps eliminate burning), UVB and UVA, and our spray tan which is called Versa.  All the UV beds we have include base level, mid level and high level and both stand ups and lay downs in each.

OT: Tell us about the different levels of tanning?
MV: Base level is equivalent to a level 3 or level 4, it will give you a good base color tan without making you too dark.  Mid-level is the next up and includes more intense face and shoulder tanners.  It’s a stronger voltage and has more bulbs in the bed so you get a deeper tan and after a few visits you look like you came back from vacation.  Our high-level beds are a good way to get color right away that stays for a few days without doing the versa spa.  It’s a higher voltage than both the base level and mid level and has more beds than all of them.  We have two beds imported from Italy that are Strictly UVA so if someone who is fairer complected and wanted to go in a high level bed they can go in one of these beds and still receive all the benefits of the high level bed without burning.

OT: How does your salon offer Vitamin D?
MV: Because each bed is the newest technology it makes sure to give you a safe tan with your daily amount of Vitamin D.  We also offer deals like $2 tan coupons, $5 tans every Tuesday, and $10 on any bed (including our $32 high level bed) after 9pm Tues-Thurs. to promote UV tanning and Vitamin D Nutrition.

OT: What are the major side effects of tanning?
MV: To much exposure or burning is something we see very often, people will come in and want to do a strong bed for the full time and they haven’t been in the sun so their melanin is still “sleeping” and although we warn them they still tend to burn.  Also, a side effect could be wrinkles at an early age ONLY if you abuse your tanning privileges and have been doing it for many many years.

OT: What are the benefits of tanning?
MV: Vitamin D is the biggest benefit because studies have shown that people who have the required amount of vitamin D daily and or weekly are healthier than those who are not.  Also, you get a nice color and look healthy.

OT: What do you recommend at your salon?
MV: I recommend trying the UVA bed because it’s very uncommon for a salon to have it. If you have an upcoming special event, try the Versa Spa Spray because it is the newest spray tan technology. It’s a sugar based solution, not an iodine base,  so it won’t turn your skin orange.

OT: How does Halsted Tan and Spa promote tanning?
MV: We promote tanning in the safest way possible, we make sure every client goes into the room with eye-wear and we encourage them to have lotion to moisturize their skin. We also have many many options, so between packages and specials and beds a customer can really come in and customize exactly what they want to do. We advertise a healthy glow during the winter and promote Vitamin D benefits.

Tanning salons can be your resource for that healthy glow and your vitamin D fix. Now, we aren’t recommending that you turn into an Oompa-Loompa, but the occasional drop-in won’t hurt. Before you head into any salon, get to know all the facts. Melina and the tanning world like to look at the benefits of the tanning bed, but there is a dark side. UVA rays go deep into the skin creating that nice golden brown tan, but provide no Vitamin D production. UVB rays are the ones that stimulate the vitamin D production, but also burns your skin easily. And we all know that tanning increases your risk for skin cancer. Halsted Tan and Spa does offers great deals, if the tanning bed is suddenly calling your name, so you can glow even in the winter snow.

New Vitamin D Intake Recommendations Released By Medical Panel

By Lizzy Sebuck

What a coincidence! During our weekly topic focusing on Vitamin D and health, new recommendations for Vitamin D intake have been reviewed and released by The Institute of Medicine Panel. As of November 30th, the institute’s research states that many people already get sufficient levels of Vitamin D intake from their usual diets. The new Vitamin D recommendation is based off of how much Vitamin D people need to support their calcium levels. While maintaining sufficient levels of Vitamin D can do wonders for your overall health, the panel concluded the newly released intake levels will specifically benefit bone health. Below are the new levels of Vitamin D intake recommended by the panel to support calcium levels in the body:

Infants – 400 units
Children/Adults – 600 units

Translation? 600 IU (units) of Vitamin D amounts to 5 cups of milk, or 5 oz of salmon. The reports say that this is a large improvement over previous years of Vitamin D diet regulations. So if you’re not much of a pill popper and want to steer clear of the supplements we previously referred you to, then try salmon for spin to get your Vitamin D. This research claims that taking too many Vitamin D supplements can have a negative effect on your health. According to this research, a healthy diet and some sunlight could just do the trick.

VIDEO HERE

So grab that grocery list off the fridge and jot down milk and salmon, we know what you’ll be eating for dinner this week.

Source:
Good Morning America

The Sunshine Vitamin

By Katie Gangloff

Feel the winter blues creeping up? Most of us are aware of the physical and mental numbing of the winter cold. The sun doesn’t shine as long as it does in warmer months. To escape the cold we spend most of our time hibernating indoors snuggled up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa and the first season of Glee. Studies show that we should be getting as much sunlight as possible during winter months because the sun doesn’t shine as long and isn’t as warm as it is in June and July. Having sufficient levels of Vitamin D can prevent depression, muscle and bone weakness, certain types of cancer, and much more. Kennel, Drake, and Hurley find that many people are Vitamin D deficient and may not even know it. Adequate levels of Vitamin D are measured from the 25-hydroxyvitamin D, (also known as 25(OH)D), concentration in the blood.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that the percentage of adults achieving vitamin D sufficiency as defined by 25(OH)D of as least 30 ng/mL [nanograms per milliliter] has declined from about 60% in 1988-1994 to approximately 30% in 2001-2004 in whites and from about 10% to approximately 5% in African Americans during this same time.”

First of all, what is Vitamin D? It’s not technically a vitamin, but an extremely powerful steroid hormone in our bodies. The easiest (and free) way to obtain Vitamin D is via sun exposure. way. Cholesterol is absorbed by your skin and eventually converted into Vitamin D by the liver. The only way to get it is from the sun, not through food. The cholesterol in the skin is gradually lost as our bodies age, which in turn creates an inability to synthesize the Vitamin D.

Another way to gain the essential ‘vitamin’ is through a supplement. “Since 1997, the Food and Nutrition Board has advised an AI [all individuals] of Vitamin D of 200 to 600 IU/d[International Units].” In relation to other medicines, this is like taking two Tylenol for a headache, only this stuff is much better. This dosage was recommended to be taken and used to fortify foods.

What do you do if you have a Vitamin D deficiency? By taking a “loading dose” you can jump start the production of Vitamin D in your body. A loading dose is almost like pumping a whole butt load of adrenaline or steroids at one time in order to get a better result in the end. One way to load a dose is to take 50,000 IU (or 1.25 milligrams) of Vitamin D once weekly for a designated amount of time prescribed by your doctor. Of course Vitamin D comes in a variety of doses, from 200 IU up to 5000 IU. Below are a few reasons why you should care about your Vitamin D level.

Kennel, Drake, and Hurley suggest that having enough Vitamin D can prevent the following:

  • rickets
  • 17 types of cancer including pancreatic, colon/rectal, stomach, prostate, lung, breast, bladder, uterine, espousal, kidney, ovarian, multiple melanoma, non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, and leukemia
  • lower blood pressure
  • improve immune system function (prevents colds and flu), autoimmune function, inflammation
  • multiple sclerosis
  • autism
  • allergies
  • preeclampsia
  • both type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  • osteoporosis
  • depression
  • muscle and bone weakness
  • generalized pain

A common misconception is that Vitamin D will ‘cure’ all of the above, but really if you had sufficient levels of Vitamin D most of these things wouldn’t have happened in the first place.

“So Vitamin D simply allows our bodies to work the way they were designed to “


Now, you’re thinking, “how am I supposed to get sun when the days are becoming shorter and shorter?” A few suggestions include to take a walk during your lunch break, stand in the sun so your face is exposed, take supplements, and definitely talk to your doctor to find out if you are Vitamin D deficient. For those of you that hit the tanning beds, you’ll get your Vitamin D fix but be weary of the side-affects. Ever heard of skin cancer? Play it safe and stick to supplements.

We are reading your mind once again, why should you care if you’re getting enough Vitamin D? The benefits are tremendous, Vitamin D can keep you healthy, strong, alive longer, and overall happier. And who doesn’t want to be happier?

Kennel, Kurt A., Matthew T. Drake, and Daniel L. Hurley. “Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults: When to Test and How to Treat.” Mayo Clinic. 85.8 (2010): 752-758.