CHASING
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YES YOU NEED VITAMIN D

Lori Wasserman - Author  | 
May 7, 2018
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Why is vitamin D so important?

Recently vitamin D has been getting a lot of attention, and there’s significant research to back it up. Everyone from Dr. Andrew Weil to Dr. Oz Garcia have been talking up the benefits of vitamin D and it goes way beyond just protecting yourself from the flu – although that alone would be a good enough reason to take it! If you’ve ever had the flu, you know what we mean…uugghhh!

2,000 IUs is the recommended dosage.

Newer research has shown that we also need it for protection against a number of serious diseases. In recent years, scientists have discovered that it may help to prevent several cancers, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, psoriasis, diabetes, psychosis, and respiratory infections including colds and flu. Pretty important huh?

VITAMIN D ROCKS

The Flu: In modern society unless you’re a park ranger, most of us don’t get enough vitamin D the natural way from sun exposure. In 1945 Dr. Hope-Simpson did a study  on the correlation between flu outbreaks and the months when sun exposure was limited. He theorized that lower amounts of vitamin D were responsible for these outbreaks, and in the year 2003 investigators confirmed that the good doctor was right; flu epidemics occurred during the colder seasons when getting adequate vitamin D levels was darn near impossible.

Cancer: Two recent meta-analyses (in which data from multiple studies is combined), conducted by the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California at San Diego and colleagues suggested that raising blood levels of vitamin D could prevent ONE-HALF of the cases of breast cancer and TWO-THIRDS of the cases of colorectal cancer in the U.S.! Study author Cedric Garland, Dr.P.H., stated that regarding breast cancer, “The serum level associated with a 50 percent reduction in risk could be maintained by taking 2,000 international units of vitamin D3 daily plus, when the weather permits, spending 10 to 15 minutes a day in the sun.”

*A 50 percent reduction in breast cancer deaths would have saved the lives of more than 20,000 American women in 2009.

Although we can get vitamin D from foods like dairy and certain greens, the levels are not nearly enough to raise our vitamin D levels significantly. The best way to get vitamin D is from supplementation and sun exposure. Sun exposure triggers vitamin D synthesis in our skin far better than any food we could eat.

Factors that decrease the body’s ability to make vitamin D include dark skin, heredity, obesity and certain medications, including some anti-seizure drugs (check with your doctor). Most significantly, sunscreen blocks vitamin D synthesis in the skin and if you live above Atlanta, Georgia (basically in the Northern Hemisphere), the sun is at too low an angle for half the year to provide sufficient UV radiation.

The best way to get vitamin D is by taking a vitamin D supplement and getting out into the sunshine. Not such a bad reason to go play outside!

 

 

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