Vitamin D

Who needs to supplement with Vitamin D?

A student asked, Teacher, can I get in trouble for something I didn’t do?

The teacher responds, Of course not.

The student breathes a sigh of relief, Good, because I didn’t do my homework.

Vitamin D may be like homework. Not having it eventually catches up with you.

Vitamin D deficiency among children results in rickets and skeletal deformations. So once the bones stop growing, how do we know if we are getting sufficient Vitamin D? One rather late way to identify low vitamin D is by medical conditions:

• Vitamin D is linked to seasonal affective disorder low levels send the body into hibernation. Vitamin D can shake off the winter blues better than antidepressant medications do.

• Low vitamin D is linked to worsening multiple sclerosis and cancers because of its poorly understood role in the immune system. The more deficient the people groups are in vitamin D the higher their risks of several cancers and multiple sclerosis.

• Vitamin D is now linked to the metabolic syndrome. Low vitamin D worsens insulin resistance and belly fat. Anyone with diabetes should be evaluated for vitamin D.

• Anyone with osteoporosis or bone aches should think twice about vitamin D.

Why wait until something is broken? Practice prevention. Have your vitamin D2 blood level measured. Then again, why have a painful expensive test? Assess your vitamin D status for free by asking yourself the following 3 questions:

Do I eat enough vitamin D? Vitamin D comes from the diet primarily from fish, fish oil and dietary supplements containing 1,000 I.U. of D3.

Do I make vitamin D from sunlight? Although the body can make vitamin D from 15 minutes of sunshine, glass and sunscreen filter out vitamin D-making rays. Dark-pigmented skin and aged skin are less able to make vitamin D. Sunlight is not intense enough for vitamin D synthesis any time of day November through February in Washington D.C. and north. In other words if Erik the Red has set his Viking sails for Florida instead of Greenland, he might have stayed longer and eaten less fish.

Is my vitamin D being activated? Vitamin D travels through the skin to the liver where it becomes D2. D2 travels to the kidneys to become active D3. Since vitamin D is stored in fat, people with extra body fat store inactive vitamin D (vitamin D is fat soluble) and as a result have too little active vitamin D3. People on intensive medications such as chemotherapy, those with liver disease, and those with extreme kidney problems may also have trouble activating vitamin D and are recommended to supplement.

With 1,000 I.U. of vitamin D3 daily, you might find as the French-Algerian author Albert Camus did, In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

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Posted on: May 6, 2009, by : Heather