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Vitamin D: The vitamin of the sun?

Vitamin D Deficiency: The vitamin we took for granted. 

Vitamin D appears to be very important in the prevention of osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, musculoskeletal pain, chronic weakness, depression, many autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, and some cancers such as that of the colon, the breast, the prostate. Other studies also showed:

  •   61% reduction in the occurrence of diabetes in children of one year and older, who were daily taking 2000 IU of vitamin D.
  •  Both vitamin D and calcium are associated with reduced occurrence of colon cancer.
  •  An increase in the intake of vitamin D either through good quality food supplements or through exposure to the sun rays is associated with the reduction in the occurrence of breast cancer and metastases.
  •  Low vitamin D levels are linked to poor dental health and loose teeth.

It actually is not a vitamin but a hormone precursor. It is known as the sunshine vitamin. Surely you know about skin cancer being linked to overexposure to the sun without sunscreen. It sounds quite contradictory and yet it is the reality. Everything you read above about the protective qualities of vitamin D is true, so exposure to the sun is necessary, but in moderation and with proper protection, depending on exposure time.

Experts suggest that people with light-colored skin stay in the sun for 15 minutes a day 3 times a week. People with darker skin can stay for a little longer without body sunscreen, but always wearing face sunscreen because the face is more sensitive. In some parts of the world it is very difficult to supplement vitamin D in the body due to the angle of the sun, especially in the winter. The oils from oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, tuna, salmon, cod, contain vitamin D.

Some drugs, such as certain diuretics, may be responsible for the lack of vitamin D. Also, because vitamin D is converted to its active form in our body by the liver and kidneys, there may be a lack of it if these organs are having problems.

If we increase the levels of vitamin D with supplements, we must also increase vitamin K to protect our vessels from plaque and help the absorption of calcium from the bones. Vitamin K is found in broccoli, cabbage, egg yolk, milk, green leafy vegetables etc. It also exists in the form of supplements. The proper nutritional therapy practitioner can determine the needs of each inpidual in vitamins by considering all the factors involved.

You can check the levels of vitamin D in your blood with a simple blood test.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Binkley, N., et al. Low vitamin D status despite abundant sun exposure. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007;92:2130-2135.

Bischoff-Ferrari, H., et al. Estimation of optimal serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D for multiple health outcomes. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;84:18-28.

Camargo, CA, et al. Maternal intake of vitamin D during pregnancy and risk of recurrent wheeze in children at 3 y of age. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85:788-795.

Devereux, G., et al. Maternal vitamin D intake during pregnancy and early childhood wheezing. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85:853-859.

Holick, M. Vitamin D: Important for prevention of osteoporosis, cardiovascular heart disease, type 1 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and some cancers. South Med J. 2005; 98 (10):1024-1027.

Islam, T., et al. Childhood sun exposure influences risk of multiple sclerosis in monozygotic twins. Neurology. 2007;69:381-388.

John EM, et al. Sun exposure, vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms, and breast cancer risk in a multiethnic population. Am J Epidemiol. 2007;10: 1093.

Lampe, F., Snyder, S. Michael Holick, PhD, MD: Vitamin D pioneer. Altern Ther Health Med. 2008;14(3):64-75.

Lin, J. Intakes of calcium and vitamin D and breast cancer risk in women. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(10):1050-1059.

Park, SY., et al. Calcium and vitamin D intake and risk of colorectal cancer: The multiethnic cohort study. Am J Epidemiol. 2007;165:784-793.

Pizzorno, L., Pizzorno, J. Vitamin K: Beyond coagulation to uses in bone, vascular, and anti-cancer metabolism. Integrative Medicine. 2008. 7(2):24-30.

Schneider, DL. Treatment paradigms, challenging concepts: Examining biomechanics and hip structure analysis: The effect of vitamin D on bone and neuromuscular function. Medscape. 2006.

Vasquez, A. The clinical importance of vitamin D (Cholecalciferol): A paradigm shift with implications for all healthcare providers. Altern Ther Health Med. 2004;10(5):28-36.

Vasquez, A. Musculoskeletal Pain: Expanded Clinical Strategies. Gig Harbor: The Institute for Functional Medicine, 2008.

 

 

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