Lizards lie in it, cats nap in it, plants need it to grow. But over 60% of North Americans are not getting enough of it. Vitamin D from the sun is critical to our health. The “cover-up and slap on the sunscreen” messages have worked too well along with young people spending time indoors instead of being outside in the sunshine.
We are near the end of our 2010 winter season here in New Zealand. My husband is a dentist and we both do not believe in flu vaccines. At the start of winter I began taking an extra 1000iu Vitamin D3 – total 3000iu daily. My husband just took his normal dose that is contained in the nutritional supplements we both take. My husband got the flu – possibly the H1N1 because I have never seen him so unwell. He is a man who normally shrugs off colds and flus, but not this one. He had to take time off work, pulled a muscle from his violent coughing and even stayed in bed. Meanwhile, as soon as he came down with the flu, I increased my D3 dose from 3000iu to 4000iu daily and I have stayed well.
Anyone keeping up-to-date with health news over the last few years will be aware that more and more research is uncovering the significance of Vitamin D and its effect on our health. The “cover-up and slap on the sunblock” campaign has helped to reduce skin cancer risk but in doing so, Vitamin D deficiency has affected the health of millions of people worldwide (you will not be surprised to find out that more than 1 billion people worldwide and 30-40% of the U.S. population between the ages of 15-49 are vitamin D deficient). Vitamin D affects over 200 genes in our bodies and about 6% of the human genome.
There is a variety of factors that limit the amount of vitamin D we are exposed to: where we live (geographic latitude), season, age, melanin content of skin, the use of sunscreen or sun-obscuring clothing, and a lack of outdoor activity. It is healthy to have bright sun exposure to our bodies for 15-20 minutes per day. People who live in temperate zones (latitude 37 degrees north and south of the equator) will not get the sun exposure required for our bodies to make the 15,000 to 20,000iu of Vitamin D it needs each day. However, overexposure to sunlight does cause skin cancer and wrinkles.
Can we overdose on Vitamin D? It’s not possible to overdose from the sun source because the body can inactivate excess Vitamin D. The body can also store excess Vitamin D in our tissues and use it as required.
So what about food? Vitamin D is unique because very little can be obtained through a normal diet.The Vitamin D that is available in food is insignificant compared to what the synthesis of the sun can provide. The principal source of Vitamin D is through sun exposure on our skin.
For instance, the following is a list of foods that we would have to consume on a daily basis to get the equivalent of 15,000 to 20,000iu Vitamin D from the sun:
Sardines – 30 cans per day or
Milk – 100-200 glasses per day or
Fortified cereal – 100-200 bowls per day or
Egg yolks – 500-1000 per day or
Wild salmon – 2 kilos or 4.5 lbs per day
I would not recommend any of the above to be consumed in such quantities on a daily basis.
Vitamin D has been shown to prevent the following diseases:
Cancer – Breast, Ovarian, Colon, Prostate, Bladder, Uterus, Esophagus, Rectum, Stomach
Influenza – upper respiratory infections have shown to be reduced by 90% by supplementing with 2000iu of Vitamin D3. By boosting our Vitamin D3 to 5000iu in the flu season, we do not need to have the flu vaccine.
Osteomalacia –soft and weak bones, makes you more prone to fractures.
Multiple Sclerosis – if we do not have enough exposure to sunlight in the first 10 years of our life, we are more pre-disposed to getting MS. So if you grow up in a temperate zone you have a 100% increase in the risk of getting MS.
From Doctor Ray Strand’s desk:
a) “A recent study reported in the Archives of Neurology showed a correlation of a low vitamin D level and the increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. This study included over 3,000 pariticipants. They followed these subjects for a period of nearly 30 years. Those subjects whose vitamin D levels were in the top 25% had over a 30% decreased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, when compared to those who had the lowest levels of vitamin D. This is just another study that shows the importance of maintaining adequate vitamin D levels. I have shared in past Health Nuggest, I like to see vitamin D levels above 60 ng/ml.”
b) “A four year clinical was done that involved nearly 1200 women. This is the kind of study physicians love and always talk about when it comes to pharmaceutical trials. However, very few of them realize that there are these kinds of studies regarding the health benefits of taking supplements. Subjects were assigned to take 1400 mg of calcium alone, or 1400 mg of calcium plus 1100 IU of vitamin D, or a placebo. After only 4 years, the risk of developing any type of cancer was 60% lower in the vitamin D group. If you excluded the cancers diagnosed in the first year because these cancers were most likely already present before the study, there was a 77% reduction in all types of cancer in the vitamin D group.
The researchers pointed out that vitamin D has an effect on at least 200 human genes and is critical in the normal functioning of our immune system and cell division. When there is less than an optimal level of vitamin D, the regulatory process involving cell proliferation and differentiation becomes defective. This can lead to abnormal cell division and thus cancer growth. However, if individuals simply supplement their diet with 1100 IU of vitamin D, they can significantly decrease their risk of all cancers.”
In summary: The research shows that nearly 70% of adults taking 600 IU or less of supplemental vitamin D have circulating levels below the minimum recommended threshold of 30 ng/mL. In fact, some people require up to 12 times that amount to maintain optimal levels of vitamin D. A suggested recommended daily intake of vitamin D3 is at least 4,000 IU per day. Of course every person’s individual needs are different, so it is best to work with your physician to determine what is right for you. If you live in temperate zones it is advisable to take a Vitamin D3 supplement every day and boost it to 5000iu in the flu season.
Expose yourself to bright sun 15 to 30 minutes daily as much as possible, before applying sunblock to your body. I recommend that you do not expose your face and neck though. Avoid over-exposure to sunlight. If possible, get your Vitamin D levels tested by your doctor to ensure that you are not deficient (“25 OH Vitamin D” blood test (also known as “25 hydroxy vitamin D”) and you want to be in the 50-80 ng/ml range).
The Vitamin D Council is a respected source of up-to-date information about Vitamin D.
(NaturalNews) Mike Adams recently interviewed the Executive Director of the Vitamin D Council, Dr. John Cannell, MD, in order to obtain more information about the nutrient which has been gaining ground as a proven necessity for cancer protection, good…listen to this hour long audio Interview with Dr. John Cannell on benefits of vitamin D
Dr. Michael Holick is the world’s foremost authority on vitamin D and the healing power of natural sunlight. He’s the author of The UV Advantage, and in this interview, Dr. Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. This is one of the most eye-opening interviews you’ll ever read on health.
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