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Are You Vitamin D Deficient?

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During his recent annual physical, my husband’s doctor informed him that he was extremely deficient in vitamin D. Two weeks later, my doctor reported that I’m in the same boat.

Often called the “sunshine vitamin,” the greatest source for vitamin D is the sun. But our efforts to protect ourselves from damaging UV rays by wearing ample sunscreen (which blocks the effects) combined with the less powerful rays given off from October to April, it’s no surprise that an estimated 50 percent or more of the world's population have a vitamin D deficiency.

If women maintained high levels of vitamin D, they could reduce their risk of breast cancer as much as 50 percent; colorectal cancer up to 253 percent; and heart disease, stroke and peripheral artery disease more than 100 percent, says vitamin D expert Michael F. Holick, MD, PhD, of Boston University Medical Center. Vitamin D also assists in calcium absorption, which we know is integral for good bone health.

Taking a vitamin D supplement can help; talk to your provider about recommended dosage. But what else can you be doing to boost your intake? Get some sunshine: try for 10 to 15 minutes at least two times a week. Also, add some vitamin D rich items to your diet such as oily fish like salmon, cod, sardines, herring and mackeral, dried shitake mushrooms (sun-ripened) and shrimp.

Add a Comment3 Comments

here is a new one found today on the importance of Vitamin d (and calcium):

December 13, 2009 - 7:22pm

I can recommend BonSweet, Which is a Cal + Vit D fortified sweetener. I use it daily, as it is a part of my daily routine to drink coffee and tea, so I just replaced my previous sweetener which didn't give me any benefits with BonSweet. rememberig to take supplement is an issue for me, and I also hate to swallow pills.

I am, as I wrote before, B12 deficiant, and the remembering issue is a problem there, although I am doing better lateley with taking it... I hope it will last.

December 11, 2009 - 9:15am

Because up to 10,000iu/daily/vitamin D3 is known to be absolutely safe it simply is not necessary or worthwhile consulting anyone before correcting vitamin D3 deficiency.
It was health professionals that have got us into this vitamin D3 mess by suggesting people avoid sunlight and by recommending amount of Vitamin D that are totally inadequate.
Laying naked in the midday sun and getting 20~30minutes full body sun exposure generates over 8000iu. It is easily possible to generate 10,000~20,000iu from one days sun exposure and careful management of exposure times and watching to ensure no burning is occuring could result in up to 50,000iu of vitamin D3 being generated. It defies common sense to suggest that these amounts are unhealthy or possibly unsafe. These are the NATURAL amounts our DNA is programmed to produce and programmed to work best with.
The form of Vitamin D3 Cholecalciferol used in over the counter supplements is biologically identical to the form your skin makes itself. What logical reason is there to suggest it may be in any way unsafe?
The Risk of Additional Vitamin D REINHOLD VIETH

In practice most health professionals use the plant form of Vitamin D2 Ergocalciferol and this is the form that one needs to be wary of. Not only is it less effective and more expensive it is also less safe. What happens with D2 is it speeds up the catabolism of Vitamin D so your turnover is faster. When they gave 2 different groups the same amount of vitamin D, one group D2 the other D3 by the 15th day the D2 group were back to the starting point while the D3 group maintained a higher status for longer. At the end of a month the D2 group were BELOW the starting point while the D3 group remained at a reasonable level.
The idea that doctors always prescribe what is in their patients best interests is simply naive. In this case we see health professionals prescribing the most expensive least effective form of vitamin D.
This Vitamin D Council newsletter provides some useful up to date information.
To enable human breast milk to flow replete with D3 requires around 6400iu/daily at latitude 32.

December 11, 2009 - 6:57am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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