April 5, 2011

Vitamin D - A Sunshine Solution

April 5, 2011
This stuff is a big deal!


We have been hearing a lot about the importance of Vitamin D lately. Doctors and Scientist are discovering that it effects us waaay more than we once thought. 


WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON'T GET ENOUGH?
30-80% of our population is deficient!
Vitamin D deficiency has been long known to cause Rickets, a disease that makes bones soft and weak. Deficiancy can also possibly lead to heart disease, chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, hypertension, arthritis, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, PMS, Crohns Disease, cancer, MS and other autoimmune diseases, athsma, and even cancer.
The Vitamin D Council states that Vitamin D deficiency can also cause stroke, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting and birth defects.



WHAT IS VITAMIN D ANYWAYS? 
It's more than just a vitamin. It is a "prohormone" that your body produces from cholesterol. It influences at least 200 of your genes, but could influence as many as 3,000! It aids in the absorption of calcium and helps form strong bones. And it goes much farther beyond that to help repair your body at a cellular level (referenced here.)

Vitamin D is also a mega- immune system booster. It is very effective in preventing colds and the flu.

And even more amazing, it is being used to treat cancer! According to Dr. Mercola, there are over 800 studies showing it's effectiveness against cancer.

Read more about the benefits and studies on Dr. Mercola's site.



MY STORY:
I started learning about Vitamin D when my sister, who was living in Iowa, wasn't feeling well and couldn't get over the feeling that something was wrong. So got her vitamin levels tested. When the tests came back the results showed that her Vitamin D levels were very low. So she found a great supplement and immediately started to feel better. She even started her kids on daily dosages and she saw something marvelous happen. Her kids never got sick!

I was astounded when she told me about all of this. My kids had been fighting colds off and on for 3 months and I was desperate for a solution. Once I got them on Vitamin D supplements the colds quickly went away and never came back! I am a true believer in the power of this vitamin!



WHERE DO YOU GET VITAMIN D?
Sunshine is our main source of obtaining our daily dosage of Vitamin D but people in this sedentary, electronic-driven age bolt from their home to their car to their desk jobs, where they spend the day under florescent lights. And when the day is over it is straight back to their car and into their house.

The skin produces 10,000 IU of vitamin D in response to 20-30 mins of sunlight. This is 50 times the amount the US government recommends!

Yes, I am guilty of spending days locked inside. I often choose to spend any free time I have on my laptop in my dark living room. I have to force myself to enjoy the benefits of the miraculous sunshine that lies only steps away from my door. But what an incredible difference it makes when I sit outside in the glorious Arizona sunshine. It does more than boost immunity, it is a mood booster as well.

Low levels of Vitamin D can be also found in foods such as:
•Fish (preferably wild caught)
•Cod liver oil
•Mushrooms
•Liver
•Eggs (preferably from free-range chickens)


WHAT ABOUT SUNSCREEN?
We are also a sunscreen-loving society, and for good cause. We all want to look young and fight off the dangers of skin cancer. But to boost your Vitamin D levels, skip the sunscreen for the first 10-15 minutes and just enjoy the miracle that your skin is. Your skin actually MAKES this vitamin! No supplements needed. But if you will be outside for more than 15-30 minutes protect your skin with a good sun block.



Most regions have seasons that make it near impossible to sit in the sun. I live in Arizona where the summers are blazing hot and 15 minutes outside would practically make you pass out. Others live in freezing cold regions where winters don't allow anyone to leave their homes for more than a few minutes and even then they are covered from head to toe. In any case, it is good idea to have your doctor test your vitamin levels and if you are low or deficient in Vitamin D ask about supplements. There are plenty available over the counter, and doctors can also provide a Vitamin D shot.
So many of us are lacking this important vitamin so it wouldn't hurt to get tested.

Spring is here and the weather is getting warm. Get outside and enjoy the sun!
A little Vitamin D will make you feel a whole lot better, and keep you healthy for life!




Other References:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/09/06/vitamin-d-linked-to-cancer-and-autoimmune-disease-genes.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-d-deficiency

http://tdathletesedge.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/vitamin-d/
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