Vitamin D, You Are My Sunshine

First of all, this information is intended for those who are able to take Vitamin D and other supplements. I have heard from people who say they can't or shouldn't take them. Checking with your doctor is always the best advice.

You may have heard Vitamin D being called the "sunshine" drug. Sunshine is something our body needs. At times, like during our long 7 month long winters, when there isn't much sunshine outdoors and shining through our windows, it is suggested that we take Vitamin D to make sure our body gets its daily requirement. It makes sense to me. I attribute the fact that I don't suffer from SADs during the winter to my consumption of the sunshine pill. SAD is Seasonal Affective Disorder, a psychiatric illness in which patients suffer from depression during the winter. Other names for the condition are winter depression, the winter blues or seasonal depression. Taking the supplement isn't the only suggestion, getting out for exercise is important as well but I will add to that, depending on the weather conditions.

The best source for "up to date" health information for Canadians living with HIV is none other than CATIE (Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange). If you go to their site (listed below) you can find a list of all supplements, charts which list the amounts recommend you take, and what exactly they target. They also have the disclaimer that you consult your doctor before taking supplements.

When looking for supplements I read the labels, most state what they target, like bones & teeth, red blood cells or the immune system. I recently re-discovered Cod Liver Oil and found out it is good for the immune system. I am so glad it can be taken in a gel capsule form now. I just cringe when I remember how as children we had to take that teaspoon of smelly and foul tasting goop Mom held out in front of us. Yuck.

So here are the Supplements I am taking along with my HIV medications:

A.M.
20 minims     Cod Liver Oil support Immune functioning
500 mgs        Calcium for Bone Density Bone health
1000 IU         Vitamin D3 to work with Calcium bone & teeth
250 mcg        Vitamin B12 for Blood support
10,000 IU      Vitamin A for eye and bone health
50 mg Zinc    General immune function

P.M. (before bed)
500 mgs      Calcium for Bone Density Bone health
1000 IU       Vitamin D to work with Calcium, bones&teeth

I have heard of a few others I might try since I haven't seen any problems with my health or my counts. I am open to suggestions if you have any.

Wikipedia.com:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_Affective_Disorder

CATIE: www.catie.ca
http://www.catie.ca/en/practical-guides/21-vitamins-minerals-and-supplements
1 800 263 1638
All information from CATIE is free, comes mailed to you in a plain brown envelope for your privacy. ACG (AIDS Commitee of Guelph also has much of their literature in the office.)

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