A vitamin which is almost completely missing from our diet and over half of the population suffers from deficiency of it. This vitamin deficiency is linked to various diseases like cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, chronic muscle pain, fibromyalgia, bone loss and some autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
What is this vitamin which is so important for our health and that we should consume it in 25 times higher amounts than what is recommended by the government?
It is Vitamin D.
Two new studies published in The Journal of Pediatrics discovered that 70 % of kids in America suffer from a deficiency of Vitamin D, thus the risk of diabetes, obesity, lower levels of good cholesterol and high blood pressure is increased. Low levels of Vitamin D may also lead to developing a cardiovascular disease later in life.
The way Vitamin D regulates the Cells and the Genes
Vitamin D is one of the most powerful cancer inhibitors. This vitamin has an enormous impact on the function and the health of the cells. It decreases cellular growth (this promotes cancer) but improves the cell differentiation (this puts the cells into an anti-cancer state). Deficiency of Vitamin D has been linked to prostate, breast, ovarian and colon cancer.
What’s even more interesting is that vitamin D can regulate and control genes. It acts on a docking station for genes called the receptor, and then forwards messages to the genes. This is how it control various functions, such as preventing cancer, boosting mood, reducing inflammation, easing muscle aches and building bones.
Vitamin D supplementation can reduce the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes up to 80%. The body makes vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight. Actually, 80 to 100 % of the required amounts of Vitamin D comes from sun exposure. The thing is that the majority of people aren’t exposed to sun as they should be. The overuse of sunscreen is one of the reasons. This product protects the skin from cancer, it is true, but it also blocks the production of vitamin D.
Vitamin D can also be found in fatty wild fish like herring, mackerel and cod liver oil. Older people produce less vitamin D. The color of the skin is also important. People with dark skin produce lower amounts of Vitamin D. Muslims and Orthodox Jews, who cover themselves, suffer from a severe deficiency of Vitamin D.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin D is 200 to 600 IU. This is the amount which is needed for preventing rickets, a condition which is caused by vitamin D deficiency. However, this is not the amount we need to prevent high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, depression, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis and cancer. We need much more.
A new research conducted by Dr. Michael Holick, from the Boston University School of Medicine, recommends daily intake of up to 2,000 IU, or what is necessary to keep the blood levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D at between 75 to 125 nmol/L (nanomoles per liter).
How to get the proper amounts of vitamin D?
Take a look at these 6 tips:
So if you are not spending all your day sunbathing at the beach, consuming 30 ounces of wild salmon per day, or having 10 spoons of cod liver oil per day, it is crucial that you take vitamin D supplementation.
- Have a 25-hydroxy vitamin D test. The recommended normal values are 25 to 137 nmol/L or from 10 to 55ng/ml. These are fine for preventing rickets. However, the values for optimal health should be 100 to 160 nmol/L or 40 to 65 ng/ml.
- Take the proper type of vitamin D. There is only one active form and that is vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). You should look for this type.
- Take the proper amount. If you are deficient in vitamin D, you need to take 5,000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 every day for 3 months, but it must be under a doctor’s supervision. For preservation, take 2,000 to 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day. Some people may need even higher doses.
- Observe your vitamin D values until they are in the ideal range. Provided that you are taking high doses of vitamin D, you also need to have your phosphorus, calcium and parathyroid levels checked every three months.
- It takes 6 to 10 months to reach the proper vitamin D amounts. When this happens, you can reduce the dose to maintenance of 2,000 to 4,000 IU per day.
- Consume dietary sources like:
- Fish liver oils like cod liver oil
- Cooked wild salmon
- Cooked mackerel
- Sardines, drained, canned in oil
- One whole egg
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