Vitamin D: A D-Manding Diet
Q: So… what is the hype about Vitamin D?
A: I am so glad you asked! I’ve started ordering this for all of my patients, as I really feel that when Vitamin D levels are optimal; people feel so much better!!
You know how you feel when you go out in the sun for the day; it just gives you great energy and attitude… well that seems to happen when vitamin D levels are optimized by the right type of supplementation!
Vitamin D has long been recognized as vital to bone health because the body needs the vitamin to absorb calcium. Recent research confirms that D may be essential for a wide range of conditions including, prevention of colon cancer, diabetes, fatigue, muscle weakness, breast cancer, fibromyalgia, and generalized weakness as we age. Research has also recently shown us that with age our skin becomes less productive at allowing sunlight to produce Vitamin D, making a deficiency more pronounced, putting us at risk for fatigue, weakness and cancer.
Vitamin D was researched at Harvard Medical School and published in the May issue of Archives in Internal Medicine. Researchers collecting data from over 10,500 women over ten years found that those that had a consistent intake of vitamin D and Calcium had a 30 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer.
One of the most interesting functions of Vitamin D is its ability to down-regulate hyper-proliferative cell growth. Cancer cells that have a vitamin D receptor often respond to Vitamin D, by decreasing their growth, thus reducing the risk of cancer proliferation.
So what can vitamin D do for you?
Help prevent a growing list of chronic diseases, including Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, breast cancer, colon cancer, and ovarian cancer.
Help keep your bones and teeth strong and healthy
Regulate the growth and activity of your cells
Reduce inflammation and help with chronic pain
Promote energy and strength
How can we get more Vitamin D?
Salmon, sardines, shrimp, milk, cod, cheese, and eggs (sockeye salmon containing the most)
Exposure to sunlight supplies us the majority of Vitamin D our bodies require. Dark skinned people require about 10-15 times more exposure to the sun to get the same effect as lighter skinned people. Aim for 20 minutes, three times weekly in early morning sun, exposing your face and as much of your body as possible (summer times most effective) – this will only work in the non-winter months!
Supplement (which is crucial at all ages) with Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). This type of “D” is crucial. I recommend D3 which comes from fish oil and is found in eggs, organ meats, animal fat, cod liver oil and fish. It is equivalent to the vitamin D formed on our skins from UV-B sunlight. The dose for younger and older adults is 1000 IU daily. This amount may need to be increased if your blood level is too low. We carry this type of Vitamin D in our office and it’s very reasonable for a three month supply!
Testing for Vitamin D levels?
The best marker for vitamin D is a blood test called 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D. This test should be run for those that are in a higher risk category as mentioned above or have problems getting enough sun exposure (all of us in the winter) and those that have chronic pain, fatigue or loss of strength.
Ask your medical provider for a vitamin D test. I order them routinely for my patients in the winter, as do the other medical physicians and practitioners in my office. Get back to a “D-Manding” diet and get your health on the right track!
Best to your health and wellness!
Good luck on your journey!