About a year ago, I was surprised to learn that I was deficient in vitamin D.
Learning that my Vitamin D levels were low served as an important reminder to me, that you can’t sit on the sidelines when it comes to your health. Creating your health is a life long process. You are the star of your healthcare team, you have to consider who you want on this team, and you have to research and educate yourself.
So, here’s what I did: I read several studies and journal articles about why vitamin D is so important to us. I looked into the importance of getting optimal levels of Vitamin D. I learned that almost all of our bodily functions seem to rely on this important nutrient. I also learned the difference between the optimal and adequate levels of vitamin D. I’m now taking 6000 IU of pharmaceutical grade Vitamin D daily.
Here’s what else I learned:
2. Decreased inflammation.
might have to do with D’s role in regulating more than 200 genes and
controlling inflammation. Elena Goleva, assistant professor of pediatrics at National Jewish Health wrote, “Patients with chronic inflammatory disease, such as asthma, arthritis, and prostate cancer who are vitamin D deficient benefit from vitamin D supplementation.” Vitamin D is associated a series of cellular events that ultimately leads to the reduction of proteins know to increase inflammation.
3. Decreased risk of Heart disease.
with insufficient D levels have an 80 percent greater risk of narrowing
of the arteries, according to a long-term study at Johns Hopkins. They also found that vitamin D is involved in modulating
4. Vitamin D helps keep immune system functioning properly.
Vitamin D instructs your white blood cells to manufacture a protein that kills infections. During
a recent study, researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine
discovered that people with high levels of vitamin D got sick about half
as often as people with low levels. And when they did fall ill, they
recovered in fewer days.
5. Less cancer.
A study conducted by Cedric Garland and other
researchers determined that women with vitamin D levels above 52 ng/ml
have half the risk of developing breast cancer as those with 13 ng/ml! Garland (et al) estimates that 58,000 new cases of breast cancer in the
U.S. could be prevented per year by raising vitamin D levels to 52
6. Higher cancer survival rate.
“Vitamin D regulates some of the genes responsible for cellular growth and
survival, says Dr. Michael Holick, an internationally recognized expert in Vitamin D.
“It helps shut down
any out-of-control growth to prevent malignancy. If that doesn’t work,
it will help kill the cell. And if a tumor grows anyway, it will work to
cut off blood supply,” says Holick, in a review article in the New England Journal of Medicine.At the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, researchers found that colon
cancer patients with high levels of D had a 39 percent lower chance of
dying from the disease. “And this might actually apply to all cancers,”
says Edward Giovannucci, MD, ScD, professor of nutrition and
epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.
7. Chronic pain.
A 2008 study showed that more than 25 percent of chronic pain patients
have low D levels, which could be because D helps control neuromuscular
function. And a 2010 study correlated low levels of the vitamin with
migraines and headaches. A dearth of D may prevent blood vessels from
constricting and dilating properly, which can lead to throbbing pain.
Studies have shown that Vitamin D
may help stimulate serotonin production; So low levels of Vitamin D is associated with low mood, and higher risk of depression.
9. Multiple Sclerosis.
A strong association was found between Vitamin D
levels and multiple sclerosis. There is research evidence from several studies that show adequate Vitamin D levels can contribute to disease prevention.
D stimulates insulin production. Research has also shown that kids who are
deficient in D have a 200 percent greater chance of developing type 1 diabetes.
How do you get Vitamin D?
salmon, and orange juice, milk, and yogurt that are fortified with vitamin D.
thousand units per day to attain appropriate blood levels to prevent
The daily value for vitamin D was set back in 1997, and many experts believe it’s woefully inadequate. The amount of vitamin D in most multivitamins is 400 IU. Studies found that taking 400 IU (the amount in most multivitamins) did almost
nothing to lessen the risk of bone fractures in older women. But taking
700 to 800 IU considerably reduced fractures.
depending on how much you take, how your body absorbs it and what you
eat. Please do your own research, and work with trained medical professionals.
believes the current recommended adequate intakes for vitamin D need to
be increased to 800 — 1000 IU vitaminD3/d. “However, one can not
obtain these amounts from most dietary sources,” says Holick. “Thus, sensible sun exposure (or UVB
irradiation) and/or supplements are required to satisfy the body’s
vitamin D requirement,” he adds.
it’s hard to reach toxic levels (150 ng/ml), it’s not impossible.
Holick recommends no more than 10,000 IU daily, an amount proved to be
free from side effects. “We want everyone to be above 30 nanograms per milliliter currently in the United States, ” according to Dr. Holick. Low
levels could account for the high incidence of several chronic diseases
in this country, Dr. Holick maintains. In the
Northeast, where sun exposure is reduced and vitamin D levels
consequently are lower.
simple blood test is all that’s needed to find out your vitamin D
level. Five years ago, a range of 20–100 ng/ml was considered normal.
Just recently, this range was raised to 32–100 ng/ml. Make sure to ask
your healthcare provider what your actual vitamin D level is.
Too often people are told that their Vitamin D levels are normal or “adequate”. Adequate nutrition is not the same as Optimal Nutrition
Suppose you find out you are deficient in Vitamin D?
you’re deficient, the best way to boost your vitamin D quickly is to
supplement with vitamin D-3. Initially, you may need to take about 5,000 IUs
establishing a healthy level, it is recommended that you supplement with 1,000–2,000
IUs per day.
After analyzing D levels of more than 13,000 people, researchers at Johns Hopkins found that those with the lowest levels had a 26 percent greater chance of dying—from any cause.
Just imagine what kind of impact having adequate Vitamin D levels could have worldwide!
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prevent any disease.All material provided on the Creating Your Health blog is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with
any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before
undertaking any diet, exercise or other health program.