The Super Nutrient?

As you’ve already known that Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones and preventing osteoporosis. However, a recent study shows that Vitamin D prevents diabetes, hypertension, flu, cancer, autoimmune disease and the list goes on Dr. Rober Heaney, MD from Creighton University says that Vitamin D is not just a vitamin, it acts like a powerful hormone that serves multiple gene-regulatory functions in your body.

Dr. Heaney so vividly explains that each cell in your body has its own DNA library that contains information needed to deal with virtually every kind of stimulus it may encounter, and the master key to enter this library is activated vitamin D.  He added that without sufficient amounts of vitamin D, your cells cannot access their DNA libraries and their functions are thereby impaired. So far, scientists have found about 3,000 genes that are upregulated by vitamin D.

Dr. Shayne Taback is a pediatric endocrinologist and says that high doses of Vitamin D could prevent children from getting Type 1 diabetes.  Many researchers know that the incidence of diabetes is higher farther from the equator because it is less sun exposure.  Finland has one of the highest known rates of Type 1 diabetes.

So, how we can get Vitamin D? As you know , the sunlight is the best and free. However, many people use sunblock to prevent UVB and UVA damage which stop their body to produce vitamin D. John Cannell M.D. of the Vitamin D Council says that skin cancer rates have risen since the introduction of sunscreen. So you may consider supplementation. It is highly recommend that you take blood work for vitamin D to find out your score. The ideal number is between 50 to 70 (ng/ml) even though many lab report say above 30 is fine. So, if your number is below 50, I suggest that you take a vitamin supplement or expose yourself to sunlight daily for 15 to 20 minutes without sunblock.

The duration of sunlight exposure depending on several factors such as skin color, antioxidant level, age, current tan level, latitude and altitude, season, and time of day. A person with dark skin may need as much as ten times more sun exposure to produce the same of amount of vitamin D as a person with pale skin.

In response to supplemental vitamin D, it varies among individuals. Their age, weight, absorption, overall health and sun exposure are the factors. Recent research has determined that genetic variants are also a factor. 1

Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) established the daily intake of vitamin D to maintain bone health and normal calcium metabolism in healthy people. The numbers are:

FNB daily Adequate Intake (AI) for vitamin D
  • Children and adults up to the age of 70 years – 600 IU
  • Seniors 70+ years – 800 IU

However, Vitamin D Council and other experts believe the number is too low to maximize multiple health benefits. The recommended dosages from Vitamin D Council are (estimated):

  • Healthy children under the age of 1 years – 1,000 IU.
  • Healthy children over the age of 1 years – 1,000 IU per every 25 lbs of body weight.
  • Healthy adults and adolescents – at least 5,000 IU.
  • Pregnant and lactating mothers – at least 6,000 IU.

Additionally, children and adults with chronic health conditions such as autism, MS, cancer, heart disease, or obesity may need as much as double these amounts.

I would like to remind you that the only way to know for sure if a certain dosage is working for you is to have your vitamin D levels tested and please discuss it with your health professionals.

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