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Redheads are said to make their own Vitamin D and because of this are said to need less Vitamin D than blondes/brunettes. Can we say hashtag #Superpower?

Is this true and what should we know about Vitamin D and its connection with redheads?

Studies have suggested that redheads are most efficient at synthesizing D, which is crucial for bone health and is thought to protect against depression. Scottish experts have speculated that this ability gives redheads a genetic advantage in gloomy climates because they can churn out more D in low-light conditions than people with darker skin or hair. This is all thanks to the MC1R gene mutation.

The reason we talk about this is because of a recent routine checkup Adrienne had. She gave blood for her annual checkup and found out she was “dangerously low” on Vitamin D. Reference Range was <36.00 and she was an 18. She’s now on prescribed medicated Vitamin D levels and feels much better — after experiencing exhaustion and weakness for the past 2-3 months.

She wondered why, being a natural redhead, she didn’t make enough Vitamin D like the studies suggest.

We talk with guest, Dr. Soma Mandal, a board-certified internist on Episode 3 of Season 3 on the How to be a Redhead Podcast. She specializes in women’s health and is widely regarded as one of America’s top physicians in midlife women’s health. She earned her MD at New York University School of Medicine, and a prestigious research fellowship at Oxford University in England. Fusing traditional Western medicine with her Eastern roots, Dr. Mandal’s approach combines the best of both worlds.

Listen to Episode 3 of Season 3 directly below or click here to listen on iTunes. You can also search for us wherever you listen to podcasts: 

We ask her:

1. Why is Vitamin D so important for everyone?
2. Is there really a connection with Vitamin D and redheads? Does the MC1R gene affect Vitamin D levels? Or is it a myth?
3. Since you’re an expert in women’s health, what are your top general health tips for women? Multi-vitamins? Routine blood work and physicals?
4. We know diet can affect Vitamin D levels, and other Vitamins/levels in the body. There is so much data in the world! What diet do you recommend for women?
5. Can you prevent Vitamin D deficiency? Are genes a factor in this?

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