VITAMIN D - ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH?
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is crucial to every cell in the body. It is estimated that nearly 70% of world is now vitamin D deficient. Why? More time spent indoors and more sunscreen. We get most of our D from the sun. Between the hours of 10-2, rays from the sun strike the skin and it triggers vitamin D synthesis. Here's why D is important:
Critical for calcium absorption and helps keep bones strong.
Muscles need it for movement.
It's important for nerve health and the communication between the brain and body.
Helps keep the immune system strong, fighting off bacteria and viruses in the body.
Unfortunately, most of us are not getting enough D. People of color are also at a greater risk for deficiency. Although there may not be any symptoms, you may notice fatigue, muscle pain, muscle weakness, muscle cramps, mood changes (depression,) impaired wound healing, hair loss, or getting sick often. How much vitamin D do we need and how do we know what are levels are? It is important to get your vitamin D levels tested, especially as we age or are thinking about getting or are pregnant. Suggested levels are now changing. New research now indicates that optimal levels are between 40-60 ng/ml, not 20 ng/ml. If you are getting your test from a doctor, they might still go by the 20 ng/ml. Here's what science knows about keeping your levels between 40-60:
Cuts your risks of cancer, especially breast cancer. Studies have shown a 70% reduction in risk if levels are greater than the 40 ng/ml.
Reduces risk of Type I diabetes.
Reduces the risk of preterm births by as much as 50%.
Reduces risk of colds and flu.
Reduce risk of broken bones.
Many patients see a reduction if pain once levels increase.
Since vitamin D is critical to immunity it makes sense that when levels are optimal, the risk of illness and disease lowers. It also should be no surprise that there is a correlation between low D levels and COVID death and intubation.
Getting enough D does require time in the sun, tan don't burn. Dermatologist may not like it but there is research that indicates that there are more cases of melanoma in people who spend most of their time indoors vs outdoors. Eat a healthy diet. There are not a lot of vitamin D rich foods, but fatty fish is one. Finding a supplement may be a good alternative if you have low levels, but it is important to find a pharmaceutical grade supplement. I do have a comprehensive guide on supplements, so if you are thinking of one and want to know the research, send us an email.
Again, knowing your levels is extremely important. I just sent out for my home testing kit from www.grassrootshealth.net. This is non-profit organization that is dedicated to vitamin D research and has the help of the top 48 world-wide researchers.