Greetings Nutrition Friends and health nuts! I have some new and exciting news I want to share with you. I am participating in a Vitamin D study(D*Action Plan). The study is sponsored by Grassroots Health, which is an organization focused on education and creating more awareness about the importance of Vitamin D. The goal is to change public health practices around the world by conducting research to support the cause. The ultimate goal is to see what type of disease can be kept at bay by keeping Vitamin D levels optimal. I will be finding out my Vitamin D serum level and supplementing with Vitamin D and getting sunshine.
Why is Vitamin D so important?
Vitamin D acts more like a hormone. Did you know that Vitamin D is needed for every tissue of our bodies to work properly. Of the 30,000 genes in our bodies, Vitamin D is shown to influence 3,000 of them! A deficiency of Vitamin D is know to be associated with cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, various autoimmune diseases like diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. Several cancers including: breast, colon, lung, lymphoma, pancreatic, and prostate can also be associated with a deficiency in Vitamin D. Optimal Vitamin D levels can cut cancer rates by as much as 60%(Mercola, 2008). That is a pretty strong statement, I know, but please read Dr. Mercola’s information of Vitamin D, Mercola.com. The evidence is mounting and the solution could be as simple as making sure you have have optimal Vitamin D levels. Disease prevention, in general, could be as simple as getting the adequate vitamins and minerals our bodies so desperately needs to function. Proper nutrition, stress management, exercise, sleep, and supplementing when necessary can give you the best chance of living a long, healthy, and productive life. True prevention is possible when you are informed. Using knowledge and information to make better choices about your health is much better than health insurance, I think. Please note that optimal levels of Vitamin D can also prevent colds and flu. It is rare for someone with optimal Vitamin D levels to come down with the flu. So you see, optimal Vitamin D levels can contribute greatly to your overall health.
While sunshine is the BEST way to obtain your Vitamin D: weather, job commitments, and life in general can get in the way of getting adequate sunshine to fulfill your Vitamin D requirements. The average exposure time is 15-20 minutes in July @ mid-day. Exposing at least 40% of your body is paramount, not just arms and face. Dark-skinned individuals exposure time may be twice as long. The brief exposure needed to produce adequate Vitamin D is not enough to to cause skin cancer (Mercola, 2008). You can apply sunscreen after 15-20 minutes of sun.
There are certain foods that contain Vitamin D, but Vitamin D from food sources are not usually adequate. The following foods can provide some Vitamin D: fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel; beef liver, cheese, egg yolk and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals- yuk!
What are optimal serum levels and how much Vitamin D should I take?
Optimal serum levels of Vitamin D should be between 40-70 ng/ml year round. It is believed that 80% of our population could have a Vitamin D deficiency. Make sure when you are supplementing that you are using Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is considered the “real Vitamin D” as it is the same substance produced by our bodies naturally by sun exposure. Studies show that Vitamin D3 is 87% more effective than D2 when treating Vitamin D deficiency. The average recommendation for Vitamin D supplementation averages between 6,000-8,000 IU per day in order to achieve levels of 50ng/ml, depending on biochemical individuality. Keeping track of your levels and your supplementation will be paramount in helping you maintain optimal levels. When testing your Vitamin D levels, Lab Corp supplies the correct test. You will want to ask for the 25(OH)D test also called the 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which shows a better overall D status. Checking your levels twice to four times a year is ideal.
There is a growing body of research that is showing the promise of Vitamin D and it’s role in optimal health. Do you want to participate? Navigate to Dr. Mercola’s website and find the Vitamin D study or go directly to grassrootshealth.net. This country is in need of a huge paradigm shift in health care. We must move from a disease management model to a true disease prevention model. Do your own research, the evidence is growing and it’s exciting. Optimizing your Vitamin D levels can contribute significantly to your overall health!
Play with me friends, let’s help contribute data, educate, and be part of something greater than ourselves. In the process, you will be adding to your own health and well-being.