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Vitamin D… A True Hero in the Nutrition World

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:05pm

It seems as though I can’t read a single health newsletter or magazine these days without seeing something positive regarding Vitamin D and its health benefits. New research is surfacing every day on how deficiencies of this vitamin cause a whole host of diseases and problems within the body. In my opinion, it is quickly becoming one of the most important elements that our bodies require. I would like to go over just a few important points regarding Vitamin D and why you should make sure Vitamin D levels are optimized.

Vitamin D is produced naturally by the body when your skin is exposed to sunlight, specifically, Ultraviolet B (UVB) Rays. UVB rays can be obstructed very easily so the season, your latitude, the time of day, cloud cover, smog, the color of your skin and the use of sunscreen can all affect the amount of UVB Rays that reach your skin and thus your body’s ability to make Vitamin D.

The sunscreen Industry has bestowed a great misfortune on you by instilling fear of the sun as part of your daily regimen. Of course you don’t want to get burned but safe sun exposure without the use of sunscreen is vital for optimum health and, in fact, REDUCES your risk of many types of cancers! Vitamin D actually increases the rate of cancer cell death (apoptosis) which reduces metastasis and proliferation of cancer cells.

Vitamin D is known as protective against 16 types of cancer including epithelial cancers of the digestive and reproductive systems. Another 10 types of cancer including bladder, gallbladder, gastric, pancreatic, prostate, rectal and renal cancer rates were all shown to be inversely correlated with UVB exposure meaning that cancer rates fell as UVB exposure increased.

Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin at all but rather a hormone that regulates a multitude of processes in the human body and it is fat soluble which means that it needs fat in order for your body to utilize it. So far, scientists have found about 3,000 genes that are upregulated by vitamin D and the receptors that respond to Vitamin D have been found in almost EVERY type of human cell.

So what else does Vitamin D do for you besides reducing your risk of cancer?

1) Studies have shown that there are strong associations between low levels of vitamin D and a higher risk of high blood pressure, hyperglycemia and metabolic syndrome.

2) Vitamin D helps to maintain normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in your blood while aiding the absorption of calcium to form and maintain strong bones thus reducing your risk of osteoporosis.

3) Low levels of Vitamin D also significantly increase the risk of age-related cognitive decline which is a significant predictor of dementia risk.

4) Vitamin D tends to lower leptin secretion which can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Leptin is a hormone produced by your fat cells that signals the brain when fat cells are “full,” but exactly how the hormone controls weight is not entirely clear yet, they just know that it does.

5) Infertility, PMS, Fatigue, Depression, Multiple Sclerosis, Sjogren’s Syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroiditis and Crohn’s disease have all been linked with low vitamin D levels.

6) Immune system cells use vitamin D to produce a germ-killing compound called cathelicidin which helps to guard your body from invading bacteria. In fact, people with optimized vitamin D levels are much more resistant to those winter colds and flus that seem to “go around”. Who needs a mecury laden, toxic flu shot when you can take one simple, safe and natural Vitamin D capsule daily!

7) Vitamin D helps stimulate the release of insulin from your pancreas. It has been shown that a lack of vitamin D drastically increases the risk for type I diabetes and is likely involved with the insulin and leptin resistance that eventually causes type II diabetes.

If you decide to supplement with Vitamin D then make sure the nutrition panel says D3 or cholecalciferol. There are two types of Vitamin D: D2 which is a synthetic, plant based version and D3 which is a naturally occurring animal based form. The reason you want Vitamin D3 is because Vitamin D2 has less than 1/6th of the potency of Vitamin D3 for human nutrition and D3 is converted 500 percent faster than vitamin D2 in our bodies. Besides that, you should always choose natural over synthetic when given the chance. For those of you vegetarians that are worried about an animal based form you can rest assured that no animals are slaughtered so that you can take your Vitamin D. It is actually manufactured from the wool of sheep.

Government levels for Vitamin D dietary intake are 400 IU to 600 IU per day but most experts believe this is far too low considering all the recent data. Many Vitamin D researchers believe that 2000 IU are needed on a daily basis, especially in the winter months in the U.S. Most people do not get the adequate amount of sun needed to optimize your vitamin D levels but if you do happen to get plenty of DAILY sun exposure then it is not wise to supplement with Vitamin D as you might send your levels too high. You can get your Vitamin D levels checked by requesting a 25(OH)D test from your doctor. If your levels from this test are below 50 ng/ml then you are considered deficient. If they are above 100 ng/ml then they are considered in excess.

Safe sun exposure is different for everyone depending on skin color and your geographical location but most experts recommend about 15-30 minutes of UNPROTECTED sun exposure between the hours of 11 A.M. and 2 P.M. EVERY day. You do not want to burn so as soon as your skin turns the very lightest shade of pink you should cover up. You can also use tanning beds but make sure to inquire that the bed has electronic ballasts rather than magnetic ballasts in order to reduce harmful radiation. Also, you don’t have to pay for the premium beds in a tanning salon. The low level beds often have the highest levels of UVB exposure.

For those of you worried about skin cancer specifically, it is important to realize that the sun alone does not cause skin cancer. The sun has been demonized in this country so that sunscreen manufacturers can make more money. Slathering chemical sunscreens on your skin does a variety of harmful things to you which include but I’m sure are not limited to:

1) Making you think that you can stay out in the sun for longer then you should which allows the harmful UVA rays to bombard your cells for hours on end.

2) Blocking the beneficial UVB rays from reaching your cells and thus BLOCKING your production of Vitamin D.

3) The chemicals you put on your skin enter your bloodstream and accumulate in your body placing unnecessary burden on your liver and other detoxification organs. That goes for any lotion, cream or makeup… Not just sunscreen. If you wouldn’t put it in your mouth then you shouldn’t put it on your skin.

Eating a diet rich in Antioxidants can help to protect you from sunburn and skin cancers but the most important thing to remember is to not get burned. SAFE sun exposure is the key to reaping all the benefits that this amazing hormone called Vitamin D has to offer! You can check out the many links and references below if you would like to do any further research.

- For Educational Purposes Only
- Not meant to diagnose or treat any medical condition
-These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA
- These statements are my opinions and conclusion from the knowledge I have thus far

1) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2002/02/23/vitamin-d-part-fiv
Accessed: 03/12/09, Author: Dr. Joseph Mercola
2) http://www.naturalnews.com/025807.html
Accessed: 03/12/09, Author: David Gutierrez
3) http://www.naturalnews.com/025791.html
Accessed: 03/12/09, Author: David Gutierrez
4) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/03/12/Vitamin-D–The-Mast
Accessed: 03/12/09, Author: Dr. Joseph Mercola
5) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/03/31/cancer-sunlight.as
Accessed: 03/12/09, Author: William B. Grant, Ph.D.
6) http://www.naturalnews.com/025834.html
Accessed 03/12/09, Author: Sherry Baker
7) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2002/02/23/vitamin-d-deficien
Accessed 03/12/09, Author: Dr. Joseph Mercola
8) http://blogs.mercola.com/sites/vitalvotes/archive/2007/06/19/The-Sunscreen-Myth-
Accessed 03/13/09, Author: Dr. Joseph Mercola

It seems as though I can’t read a single health newsletter or magazine these days without seeing something positive regarding Vitamin D and its health benefits. New research is surfacing every day on how deficiencies of this vitamin cause a whole host of diseases and problems within the body. In my opinion, it is quickly becoming one of the most important elements that our bodies require. I would like to go over just a few important points regarding Vitamin D and why you should make sure Vitamin D levels are optimized.

Vitamin D is produced naturally by the body when your skin is exposed to sunlight, specifically, Ultraviolet B (UVB) Rays. UVB rays can be obstructed very easily so the season, your latitude, the time of day, cloud cover, smog, the color of your skin and the use of sunscreen can all affect the amount of UVB Rays that reach your skin and thus your body’s ability to make Vitamin D.

The sunscreen Industry has bestowed a great misfortune on you by instilling fear of the sun as part of your daily regimen. Of course you don’t want to get burned but safe sun exposure without the use of sunscreen is vital for optimum health and, in fact, REDUCES your risk of many types of cancers! Vitamin D actually increases the rate of cancer cell death (apoptosis) which reduces metastasis and proliferation of cancer cells.

Vitamin D is known as protective against 16 types of cancer including epithelial cancers of the digestive and reproductive systems. Another 10 types of cancer including bladder, gallbladder, gastric, pancreatic, prostate, rectal and renal cancer rates were all shown to be inversely correlated with UVB exposure meaning that cancer rates fell as UVB exposure increased.

Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin at all but rather a hormone that regulates a multitude of processes in the human body and it is fat soluble which means that it needs fat in order for your body to utilize it. So far, scientists have found about 3,000 genes that are upregulated by vitamin D and the receptors that respond to Vitamin D have been found in almost EVERY type of human cell.

So what else does Vitamin D do for you besides reducing your risk of cancer?

1) Studies have shown that there are strong associations between low levels of vitamin D and a higher risk of high blood pressure, hyperglycemia and metabolic syndrome.

2) Vitamin D helps to maintain normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in your blood while aiding the absorption of calcium to form and maintain strong bones thus reducing your risk of osteoporosis.

3) Low levels of Vitamin D also significantly increase the risk of age-related cognitive decline which is a significant predictor of dementia risk.

4) Vitamin D tends to lower leptin secretion which can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Leptin is a hormone produced by your fat cells that signals the brain when fat cells are “full,” but exactly how the hormone controls weight is not entirely clear yet, they just know that it does.

5) Infertility, PMS, Fatigue, Depression, Multiple Sclerosis, Sjogren’s Syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroiditis and Crohn’s disease have all been linked with low vitamin D levels.

6) Immune system cells use vitamin D to produce a germ-killing compound called cathelicidin which helps to guard your body from invading bacteria. In fact, people with optimized vitamin D levels are much more resistant to those winter colds and flus that seem to “go around”. Who needs a mecury laden, toxic flu shot when you can take one simple, safe and natural Vitamin D capsule daily!

7) Vitamin D helps stimulate the release of insulin from your pancreas. It has been shown that a lack of vitamin D drastically increases the risk for type I diabetes and is likely involved with the insulin and leptin resistance that eventually causes type II diabetes.

If you decide to supplement with Vitamin D then make sure the nutrition panel says D3 or cholecalciferol. There are two types of Vitamin D: D2 which is a synthetic, plant based version and D3 which is a naturally occurring animal based form. The reason you want Vitamin D3 is because Vitamin D2 has less than 1/6th of the potency of Vitamin D3 for human nutrition and D3 is converted 500 percent faster than vitamin D2 in our bodies. Besides that, you should always choose natural over synthetic when given the chance. For those of you vegetarians that are worried about an animal based form you can rest assured that no animals are slaughtered so that you can take your Vitamin D. It is actually manufactured from the wool of sheep.

Government levels for Vitamin D dietary intake are 400 IU to 600 IU per day but most experts believe this is far too low considering all the recent data. Many Vitamin D researchers believe that 2000 IU are needed on a daily basis, especially in the winter months in the U.S. Most people do not get the adequate amount of sun needed to optimize your vitamin D levels but if you do happen to get plenty of DAILY sun exposure then it is not wise to supplement with Vitamin D as you might send your levels too high. You can get your Vitamin D levels checked by requesting a 25(OH)D test from your doctor. If your levels from this test are below 50 ng/ml then you are considered deficient. If they are above 100 ng/ml then they are considered in excess.

Safe sun exposure is different for everyone depending on skin color and your geographical location but most experts recommend about 15-30 minutes of UNPROTECTED sun exposure between the hours of 11 A.M. and 2 P.M. EVERY day. You do not want to burn so as soon as your skin turns the very lightest shade of pink you should cover up. You can also use tanning beds but make sure to inquire that the bed has electronic ballasts rather than magnetic ballasts in order to reduce harmful radiation. Also, you don’t have to pay for the premium beds in a tanning salon. The low level beds often have the highest levels of UVB exposure.

For those of you worried about skin cancer specifically, it is important to realize that the sun alone does not cause skin cancer. The sun has been demonized in this country so that sunscreen manufacturers can make more money. Slathering chemical sunscreens on your skin does a variety of harmful things to you which include but I’m sure are not limited to:

1) Making you think that you can stay out in the sun for longer then you should which allows the harmful UVA rays to bombard your cells for hours on end.

2) Blocking the beneficial UVB rays from reaching your cells and thus BLOCKING your production of Vitamin D.

3) The chemicals you put on your skin enter your bloodstream and accumulate in your body placing unnecessary burden on your liver and other detoxification organs. That goes for any lotion, cream or makeup… Not just sunscreen. If you wouldn’t put it in your mouth then you shouldn’t put it on your skin.

Eating a diet rich in Antioxidants can help to protect you from sunburn and skin cancers but the most important thing to remember is to not get burned. SAFE sun exposure is the key to reaping all the benefits that this amazing hormone called Vitamin D has to offer! You can check out the many links and references below if you would like to do any further research.

- For Educational Purposes Only
- Not meant to diagnose or treat any medical condition
-These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA
- These statements are my opinions and conclusion from the knowledge I have thus far

1) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2002/02/23/vitamin-d-part-fiv
Accessed: 03/12/09, Author: Dr. Joseph Mercola
2) http://www.naturalnews.com/025807.html
Accessed: 03/12/09, Author: David Gutierrez
3) http://www.naturalnews.com/025791.html
Accessed: 03/12/09, Author: David Gutierrez
4) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/03/12/Vitamin-D–The-Mast
Accessed: 03/12/09, Author: Dr. Joseph Mercola
5) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/03/31/cancer-sunlight.as
Accessed: 03/12/09, Author: William B. Grant, Ph.D.
6) http://www.naturalnews.com/025834.html
Accessed 03/12/09, Author: Sherry Baker
7) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2002/02/23/vitamin-d-deficien
Accessed 03/12/09, Author: Dr. Joseph Mercola
8) http://blogs.mercola.com/sites/vitalvotes/archive/2007/06/19/The-Sunscreen-Myth-
Accessed 03/13/09, Author: Dr. Joseph Mercola

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