Vitamin D – Are You D-ficient?

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Important Things To Know About Vitamin D:

Vitamin D and You

What Vitamin D is:

    • It’s not really even a vitamin – it’s a hormone in the end.
    • Mammals (such as us) make it in our body from sun
    • Vitamin D is vital for the health of every body.
    • light exposure.
    • Northerners even developed fair skin with less melanin, which maximized their ability to produce vitamin D from less sunlight than those living closer to the equator.

What Vitamin D Does:

  • It regulates the levels of calcium and phosphate in the bloodstream.
  • It promotes strong, healthy bones.
  • It plays a HUGE role in the body’s immune system response for defense against infections, bacteria, and other nasties.
  • It reduces systemic, chronic inflammation.
    It plays a potential role in decreasing the risk of various types of cancers.
  • It has been shown to reduce osteoporosis.
  • It plays important roles in making sure your heart, brain, lungs, immune system, muscles, organs – and pretty much everything in your body – works well.
  • A lack of Vitamin D has been shown to be linked to a number of health issues, including: heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, auto-immune diseases, gout, chronic fatigue, Parkinson’s, poor dental health, Alzheimer’s, dementia, schizophrenia, fibromyalgia, MS, asthma, hypertension, glucose intolerance.

Where Does Vitamin D Come From:

  • Sunlight is what provides our body with Vitamin D.
  • If you don’t get enough daily sunlight exposure, then supplementation would be an alternative.
  • Foods alone provide very small amounts, usually not nearly enough Vitamin D for a healthy body.

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?  How To Know…

  • It’s estimated that more than 1 Billion people worldwide are deficient in Vitamin D.
  • It’s generally agreed that one should have a level of 45-75 ng/ml (in the blood) as the ideal to aim for.
  • Getting tested is the only accurate way to know if you’re getting enough Vitamin D.
  • To get tested, you can either visit your doctor, go to a lab to get tested, or you can order an in-home test: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/testing-for-vitamin-d/#. Or look around online, as there are other labs and such that offer the 25(OH)D test.
  • Make sure to specifically request a 25(OH)D test.
  • Not all insurances cover this test, so check before you go.
  • Note: a small percentage of people seem to be unusually sensitive to Vitamin D supplementation, and will have an unexpected rise in their blood calcium levels with Vitamin D supplementation. Therefore, it’s recommended to also measure the blood calcium level before and during Vitamin D supplementation.

How To Get Enough Vitamin D:

  • When you consume junk foods you increase your Vitamin D requirements.
  • Both supplements and sunlight can help you boost your Vitamin D levels. If you’re taking supplements, take D3, not D2.
  • Want to get your Vitamin D from sunshine? Here’s a tip: A person’s skin color affects their ability to create D3 in the skin. The darker the color skin you have, the longer you must remain exposed for optimal D3 production. Of course, darker skin also does a better job of protecting the skin from the sun as well.
  • There is much debate about how much total Vitamin D one should get in a day, though many health care practitioners agree that between 2000-4000iu daily is adequate.
  • The bottom line is to get tested to see how much Vitamin D is currently in your body. From there, you’ll know what needs to be done.

Vitamin D and Your Health During Flu Season:

  • It’s worth repeating: Vitamin D is an important part of the immune system.
  • Annually, the Flu affects about 64 Million people, or about 20% of the total U.S. Population. Will you be one of those 64 million?
  • Flu outbreaks and epidemics typically occur in the winter when Vitamin D levels are much lower due to less sunshine and people spending even more time indoors than during the milder months.
  • Many Flu studies have shown that people who have lower levels of vitamin D are more likely to get the Flu.
  • As well, some research has shown a relationship between higher levels of Vitamin D and shorter duration of flu infection.
  • And some experiments have shown that taking vitamin D supplements can reduce your chances of getting the Flu in the first place.

Bottom Line:

  • Get your 25(OH)D levels tested before you start supplementation (and get your calcium levels tested for those who may be unusually sensitive to Vitamin D supplements).
  • Get more sunshine and/or take a good D3 supplement.
  • Get your 25(OH)D levels tested again after 3-6 months (and calcium levels too, if necessary.)
  • Drink plenty of water (always!)
  • Back away from the junk food (it increases your D3 requirements)
 Disclaimer:  All information provided herein is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness.  Always consult and follow the directions from your doctor before making any changes to your diet, exercise, or lifestyle.

 

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