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Vitamin D

Vitamin D has recently received a great deal of attention in the national news, in fact if you didn’t know better, you would think that scientists had just discovered a new planet or something equally previously unknown. The fact is that nutritionally-oriented scientists have long known and touted the benefits of minimally adequate, or better-yet optimal levels of vitamin D. Sadly enough upwards of 50% of individuals in North America have insufficient levels of vitamin D in their blood stream as measured by the test called 25-OH vitamin D.

So how did this happen, this great “insufficiency state”? Well, the world’s health authorities have recently been warning all of us to avoid the sun in fear of getting skin cancer. This is a very reasonable recommendation for protecting the skin, yet with increased sedentary lifestyles and use of SPF sunscreens other risk factors must be taken into account as well. They have not until now. The sad thing is that as a result, tens of thousands of people have suffered unnecessarily from the health consequences of the lack of “optimal” vitamin D levels.

The reality is sobering, we are now suffering a worldwide epidemic of overt vitamin D deficiency and this insufficiency is leading to increased risks of all kinds of cancers ranging from prostate, breast and colon cancer, to lowered immunity and heightened risk for autoimmunity.

How real is the reality of insufficiency and overt deficiency? In one study, 52% of Hispanic and black adolescents in Boston were truly deficient. In Maine, 48% of white pre-adolescent girls were deficient. If our kids who do get some sunshine during the daytime are low, what about all the indoor office and factory workers who don’t?

The fact is that a multivitamin is still an important cornerstone for all those seeking to help shore-up overall possible gaps in their diet. However, to get enough vitamin D, adding a vitamin D supplement by itself is an absolute must.

To further understand the need, here are some other powerful facts:

  • Researchers found that low blood levels of vitamin D are linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease as well as death from all causes.
  • Vitamin D is critical for immune health, to protect against many kinds of autoimmune disease, to help hedge the risk of certain cancers, to help control seasonal affective disorder and certain depressions, and to build and maintain bone strength.
  • 1 billion people worldwide are believed to be vitamin D insufficient or overtly deficient.
  • 40% to 100% of US and European elderly are believed to be Vitamin D deficient
  • More than 50% of menopausal women taking drugs for osteoporosis have sub-optimal levels of Vitamin D

Summary

The concept of avoiding the sun in totality and/or wearing an SPF of 15 that blocks 99% of vitamin D producing UV light, and to think that there would be no health ramifications, is equivalent to stopping water consumption in fear of contamination and not wondering if there will be a need to address the long term consequences of such a decision.

Supplementation is a must for the vast majority of people and after about 4 to 6 weeks get re-tested for vitamin D levels and see if you have reached a blood level of 55 for your 25 OH levels and get your calcium levels measured too. Work with your doctor and join me in living life to the fullest and being proactive about protecting and growing your health foundation.

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Health Tips On the Go!

Improve Posture

  • 1.Avoid slouching. Be aware of your posture as you walk, sit, and drive, keep shoulders squared and head pulled back and up.

  • 2.Imagine a thread pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling. Visualization can help improve your sense of position.

  • 3.If your job requires you to sit for long periods, take frequent breaks to stand, stretch and shake it out.

  • 4.Maintain a strong core to help support proper posture. Add core-training exercises to your daily routine.

  • 5.A firm mattress and ergonomic pillow help achieve proper back support while you sleep, so you'll stand straighter in the a.m.

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