Hi, Todd, thank you for the introduction, and vitamin D is an extremely important hormone that, in the last couple of years, we are just beginning to realize how important it is. I think that informing our women listeners and podcast listeners today about the importance of vitamin D, it could be one of the most important things they will learn in their effort to achieve good health.
Well, than let’s start at the very beginning–a very good place to start. Vitamin D, why does the body, why does the body need it?
Dr. Theodore Friedman:
Okay, that’s a good question. So classically we know vitamin D is involved in bone formation, and people, especially children with very severe vitamin D deficiency, get rickets and they don’t form their bones well; they get very sort of soft, flexible bones. They are sort of like bow-shaped a little bit, and you know, people in Russia that are not exposed to sun and don’t get vitamin D in their milk, they may have very severe vitamin D levels and they may get rickets.
However, more recently we are realizing that, sort of, more mild deficiency of vitamin D, below the sort of optimal levels, may have a lot of effects on women’s health--on health, and in women’s health in specific--and we are realizing this because the vitamin D receptor, where it acts, is found in tissues throughout the body, not just in the bone, but also in tissues like heart and brain and muscle and the blood vessels themselves. So we are realizing more and more that vitamin D has a huge role in your health.
Well, it’s just so interesting to me. Recently, and for those who don’t know, I know Dr. Friedman, you know this, but I get sent all over the U.S. covering events, medical conferences for EmpowHer, and I was recently at a huge vitamin D conference at UCSD, University of California, San Diego, where many of the big doctors from cancer and heart, women’s sexual health and mood disorders, all descended on San Diego for this big announcement of the proper vitamin D levels and so on. So it’s really fascinating, the movement that’s taking place.