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Vitamin D and why we need it

Vitamin D deficiency is a pandemic in the USA, but many people do not know that they are lacking the important nutrient.

There are 30,000 genes in our body and vitamin D has been shown to influence 3,000 of them. That is why it effects so many diseases from cancer and autism to heart conditions and rheumatoid arthritis.
It is actually not the vitamin, it is steroid hormone that you get from exposure to sun, food ( eggs, milk, cod and other fat fish) and supplements.
The term refers to vitamin D2 or D3, but real vitamin D is D3 only, named 25-hydroxy vitamin D- substance produced by our body in response to sun light.
A study in the January 2011 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that
D3 is 87 percent more effective then D2, and a preferred form to treat vitamin D deficiency.

Link between vitamin D deficiency and Cancer has been well- tested and confirmed.
Some 600,000 cases of breast and colorectal cancers could be prevented each year if vitamin D levels among populations were increased.
Optimizing your vitamin D levels could help you to prevent at least 16 different types of cancer including pancreas, lung, prostate, ovarian and skin cancer.
There is scientific data demonstrating that vitamin D can cut overall cancer risk by 60%, this was groundbreaking news that permitted endorsing the vitamin D as a cancer prevention therapy.

Vitamin D has a protective effect against cancer in several ways:

  • Increasing the self-destruction of mutated cells (which if allowed to replicate, could lead to cancer)
  • Reducing the spread and reproduction of cancer cells
  • Causing cells to become differentiated (cancer cells often lack differentiation)
  • Reducing the growth of new blood vessels from preexisting ones

Beyond cancer, researches found that vitamin D3 increasing levels could prevent some other chronic diseases, it regulated the expression of genes that influence the immune system to attack and destroy viruses and bacteria.

In the United States, the winter average vitamin D is 15-18 ng/ml, which is considerate a very serious deficiency.

It is thought that 85 % of American public is deficient.

Vitamin D deficiency is epidemic in adults who have increased skin pigmentation, 60% people with type 2 diabetes have vitamin D deficiency, it is common among children and elderly.

Sun Exposure is the best way to optimize your vitamin D levels.

To optimize your vitamin D level and get a healthy tan it is important to limit your exposure to sun in the first few days, to give your melanocytes ability to produce protective pigmentation. The more tanned your skin gets, the more tanned you want to be, the longer you can stay on the sun. If you are light skinned, your initial exposure should be several minutes, if you are dark skinned one- it could be 30 min, but the goal is- never be sunburned.
There are different ultraviolet ways: UVB and UVA. Only UVB rays are beneficial for your skin, but they have to pass through atmosphere and be at the angle of 50 degree from the horizon..

You can look at URL http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/AltAzphp to determine when sun will be at the 50degree to horizon in the area where you live. Some areas just do not have it long enough.

From the health perspective it does not make sense to exposure your skin to the sun when it is lower then 50 degree above the horizon because you will not receive any URB rays, but you will get URA-dangerous and potentially deadly. URA can more easily penetrate ozone layer and any clouds, they increase your risk of cancer and photoaging of your skin. Vitamin D will help you to prevent hip fractures, osteoporosis, rickets and osteomalacia, calcium metabolism depends on amount of vitamin D in you blood.

During the time when URB do not present in the area where you live, you can use safe tanning or take vitamin D supplementation.

The recommendation for optimum vitamin D levels increased with time dramatically. In 2007 experts recommended 40-60 ng/ml, since then it was increase to 50-70- ng/ml and when treating cancer and heart disease -70-100ng/ml.

The most important: getting the right test and actual level of vitamin D in the blood-serum level.

There are two vitamin D test available: 1,25(OH)D and 25 (OH)D. The correct test to order is 25 (OH) which is better marker of overall D status. The normal range is between 20-56ng/ml where below 20-severe deficiency, in real life vitamin D level never should be below 32ng/ml.

If you decided to have supplementation with vitamin D, the most important thing to remember that you want to supplement with D3-natural cholecalciferol which is human vitamin D. Do not use synthetic and highly inferior vitamin D2.

Based on the research, most adults need 8000 IU of vitamin D /day in order to have their serum levels above 40ng/ml. In the USA the primary laboratory to use is Lab Corp.

Good luck with the sun and vitamin D. We use Standard Process supplement of vitamin D-Cataplex D which is effective, safe and highly bioavailable.

Dr. Natalie

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