So how do you feel when you get back from vacation? Let's say you just got back from Hawaii. You had some sun. You lay on the beach. You feel really good. How do you feel when you're lying on the beach? You feel amazing. How did you feel that night, going out for dinner? You feel really, really well.
You know, what we're finding is sunshine is the happy vitamin. Sunshine equals more vitamin D. So let's talk a little bit about vitamin D. Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin. If you look back when it was coined back in the 1940s, it's actually a hormone. It's almost identical in structure to testosterone. So vitamin D and testosterone have a lot of similar effects on the body.
You know testosterone's touted for increasing strength, increasing bone density, increasing vitality, increasing energy. Vitamin D is almost exactly the same molecule. It's just slightly changed. If you look at our body, there's a receptor for vitamin D on almost every cell on your body. So that means when you have vitamin D in your body, it's going to affect the processes of any part of your body.
Some of the positive things vitamin D can do for you is vitamin D can increase bone density in both males and females. It decrease arthritis rates and it decreases fractures. It also is known as the kind of happy vitamin. There's a syndrome called SAD, seasonal affective disorder, which is just related to that fluctuation of vitamin D goes down in the winter months, kind of creeps back up in the summer. So you feel more energetic in the summer. Very easy. Get more vitamin D during the winter months.
Interestingly enough, they did a study on seniors down in Florida during the summer months, and their vitamin D levels were sub-optimal. So it's just saying the sun is usually not adequate to get your levels to a high enough level. If you look at the levels in a lab, it's usually a normal. It's 30 to 100, okay? So some people come up to me and they'll say, "Oh, my level's 31. I'm great. My vitamin D level's normal." I'll say, "Well, it's normal, but it's not optimal." You want to be optimal, so you want to get that level from 30 up to about an 80. So vitamin D optimization's what we're talking about. We're not talking about normal vitamin D, we're talking about optimization.
So vitamin D's very, very important for a lot of different reasons. Another interesting study shows that people who take vitamin D had up to a 20% increase in their strength, just by taking a vitamin D supplementation, to get that level up towards an optimum level.
So either go lay out in the sun. But unfortunately a lot of us live in states where it's a little bit colder. We're not outside as often. And if not, take some vitamin D to get those levels a little bit higher.