Vitamin D, your best defence against the ﬂu, SAD, bone disease and much more
Vitamin D is the new hero of natural health and with good reason. Much research done in resent years shows us just how important the SUNSHINE vitamin is and just how serious the consequences of a deﬁciency can be.
A Hormone Not a Vitamin
The precursor to vitamin D is 7 dehydrocholesterol – thats right… cholesterol.
Vitamin D is in fact a hormone, which in part helps to explain why it’s effects are so far reaching – it regulates the expression of several hundred genes. Some researchers say it may regulate up to 5% of the human genome. Pretty important then.
Rickets, Osteomalacia and Osteoporosis
Rickets, the most preventable childhood disease, is having a resurgence. A study at Southampton University revealed 20% of children studied showed signs of rickets. Osteomalacia is softening of the bones, making them ache and Osteoporosis is the bones becoming porous. Vitamin D is essential for correct mineral uptake into bone, so a deﬁciency creates a risk of these diseases.
Vitamin D and Cancer
Vitamin D has been demonstrated to actually kill cancer cells and repair tissue. It is therefore an important part of any cancer treatment and in particular prostate and breast cancer.
Vitamin D & Multiple Sclerosis
MS suffers have been shown to have a gene variant that causes vitamin D deﬁciency, which research increasingly points to as a causal factor in the disease.
Vitamin D & Type II Diabetes
Correct levels of vitamin D will reduce your risk of type II diabetes by up to 43%, this astonishing ﬁgure is because vitamin D is essential to the correct function of insulin.
Vitamin D and Flu
Vitamin D has been shown to be many times more effective in prevention of the ﬂu than ﬂu vaccine.
Vitamin D deﬁciency has also been linked to Asthma and allergies; Crohn’s and Colitis; Brain function and Dementia; Hypertension and Heart Disease; Parkinson\’s; SAD, Depression and Obesity.
Deﬁciency – a Common Problem
Because of our northerly latitude here in Cumbria a deﬁciency in Vitamin D is common place. If you work indoors you will likely be deﬁcient and if you suffer SAD you will undoubtedly be deﬁcient. Darker skin colour means impaired vitamin D production from sunlight as the skin pigment melanin competes with 7 Dehydrocholesterol for UVB, so people with darker skin are considerably more at risk of deﬁciency.
How can I get enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D is best acquired from bare skin exposed to the sun. In summer the body will make 20,000 – 30,000iu in less than an hour with a bare face and arms. After that it will not make more that day. In the winter we make hardly any so a supplement is a good idea. Vitamin D3 is the best form and a dose of between 1000 – 2000iu is good. Higher doses will probably be required in illness, so it’s advisable to get tested.