Docs Orders - Natural Health Products - vitamin d combats cancer heart disease diabetes and more

By: Docs Orders  05-Apr-2012
Keywords: Natural Health, Health Products, Supplements

Vitamin D – The Sunshine Vitamin

Why are we deficient?

Studies show that more than 50% of people in the west are Vitamin D deficient! Those most at risk are teens, pregnant women and the elderly. Vitamin D is a fat soluble so the best nutritional sources are from animal fats; fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), egg yolks,  butter, liver, and full fat milk. However, with the current trend of eliminating these good fats from our diet means that we are missing out on these traditional sources of Vitamin D.  

The other issue we face is that due to the (justified) fear of skin cancer, many of us are (rightly) avoiding the sun and applying sunscreen. However this is meaning that our bodies are unable to get enough UVB rays to produce Vitamin D. If you work inside, or spend a lot of time in your car, then you are at higher risk as these UVB rays do not significantly penetrate glass.

What does the research say?

We now know that vitamin D is not simply a fat-soluble vitamin needed for healthy bones - it's also a hormone.

When a substance functions like a hormone, it participates in and regulates our metabolism, allowing it to function properly, which is exactly what
vitamin D does. We now know it helps to regulate:

·               Bone development

·               Muscle function

·               Immune function

·               Insulin activity

·               Calcium balance

·               Phosphorus balance.

Just like hormones such as estrogen and cortisol, there are receptors for vitamin D on the cell membranes of most cell types in the body. This means that vitamin D plays a sweeping role in many diverse aspects of our health.

What can indicate that you are Vitamin D deficient?

·               Muscle aches and muscle weakness

·               Frequent falls, particularly among older persons

·               Bone pain, frequent bone fractures, or soft bones

·               Asthma (especially severe asthma)

·               Chronic low energy and fatigue

·               Depression, particularly among older persons

·               Lack of exposure to sunlight for any reason, including geography, use of sunscreen, or wearing of protective clothing

How can I find out if I am Vitamin D deficient?

It is simple enough to find out if you are deficient in Vitamin D, simply get a blood test done next time you are at the doctors’ office and talk to them about the right level of supplementation for you.

How much Vitamin D should I be taking?

As a guide, in 2010, the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences established revised Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) recommendations for vitamin D based on new research in this area. The following intake levels for vitamin D were established in 2010:

Age

Adequate Intake level (AI)

Upper Intake Level (UI)

0-6 months

10mcg (400IU) / day

25mcg (1000IU) / day

6-12 months

10mcg (400IU) / day

38mcg (1,500IU) / day

1-3 years

15mcg (600IU) / day

63mcg (2,500IU) / day

4-8 years

15mcg (600IU) / day

75mcg (3,000IU) / day

9-18 years

15mcg (600IU) / day

100mcg (4,000IU) / day

19 years +

20mcg (800IU) / day

100mcg (4,000IU) / day

Pregnant or lactating

15mcg (600IU) / day

100mcg (4,000IU) / day

Vitamin D supplements are readily available, and you can pick up 60 capsules for around $12 so it is very affordable.

Further reading/viewing

Excellent, in-depth look at Vitamin D and how it interacts with each body system

Very clear clip explaining Vitamin D and why we need it – from our good friends at Cooper Aerobics

Vitamin D – women and pregnancy

Vitamin D fact sheet from US National Institutes of Health

The Vitamin D Council

Scientific research papers on Vitamin D

Peer review of studies into vitamin D and human health

Vitamin D supplementation and breast cnacer

Vitamin D and colon cancer

Full review from the Mayo Clinic as to the benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D reduces the risk of falls in the elderly

Vitamin D and diabetes

 
The information in this article was current at 27 Mar 2012

Keywords: Health Products, Natural Health, Natural Health Products, Supplements

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