Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The importance of Vitamin D - by Kim Watson

Here in bayou country, spring is bursting out all over. I hope your spirits are rising along with all the new life. This newsletter is a review on something we've been hearing about more and more of late. Vitamin D is news. Pay attention!
To your health

Vitamin D – Do It Now

If you haven’t yet begun to take a Vitamin D supplement, now is the time! It is a simple thing to add to your regimen and isn’t very expensive.

You will have noticed any number of newspaper and magazine articles about Vitamin D in the past few years. Have you read Chapter 6 in my book You Can Feel Great yet? I go into some detail on sunshine and Vitamin D. Go back and take a look. Your doctor may also be encouraging you to begin taking Vitamin D supplements.

The research is compelling - widespread Vitamin D deficiencies have led to greater numbers of children and adults with bone health problems, cancers, heart disease, and more. Vitamin D supports calcium uptake, immune health, blood sugar regulation and blood pressure regulation. Click here for a long list of references for published Vitamin D research.

Here is some guidance as you think about taking Vitamin D3:

Take Vitamin D3 capsules
D3 (cholecalciferol) is the form our body manufactures when we expose our skin to sunlight. D2 (ergocalciferol) is a form not natural to our body and is not taken up as efficiently, yet it is often added to our foods and some supplements. Not the best!

Choose capsules rather than tablet form Vit D, since they are purer and more readily absorbed by your stomach.

Take Enough
While there is still debate about how much is enough, there is growing consensus that 2000 IU daily is a good amount for adults. The longstanding recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for Vitamin D, now believed to be very inadequate, is 200-400 IU daily. One study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recommended 4000 IU per day (Vieth R. Am J Clin Nutr 1999 69 :842-56.) The researcher established that when exposed to sunshine our skin normally produces around 10,000 IU per day and toxicity to Vit D has only been measured and published at levels of 40,000 IU/day.

What About Vit D from Food?
You cannot get enough Vit D from your food. Even foods naturally high in Vitamin D like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines have only a small percentage of what we need.

Test your levels
The next time you have lab work done, ask to have your Vitamin D level tested with the 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. Without it, you are flying blind. Measuring over time is a good idea. You may need a higher intake for some time until you get your levels up to normal. A healthy blood level for Vitamin D is considered to be 55-60 ng/ml.

Which brand to choose?
All brands aren’t the same. It is important to find a company that guarantees the quality of its raw materials and final products. Does it establish the potency of all its raw materials and standardize its ingredients? You want products made according to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).

Only one brand I am aware of has done clinical trials with its calcium/vitamin D supplements regarding bone density and fared very well. I am not associated with AlgaeCal but it has been recommended by Dr Gil Kaats, who has done lots of 3rd party research and knows a good company when he studies their clinical results. Click here for the AlgaeCall testimony page – measurable results for many people! (If you want to know more about AlgaeCal products you can call Julie Marshall at HealthTech, Tel 210.824.4200 or e-mail

Get out in the sun too!
Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D. Make time to enjoy the outdoors, expose your skin and know you are doing yourself a favor (as long as you aren't getting sunburned). But don’t fool yourself into thinking you are getting enough Vit D - it is likely you aren't. Unless you are spending 5 – 10 minutes in the sun with lots of body exposure between the hours of 11am and 2pm three to four times weekly – you aren’t coming near to making enough Vit D through your skin.

If you are older, you also have diminished capacity to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight. And if you use sunscreen to prevent skin cancer and sun damage, an SPF factor of 8 reduces production of vitamin D by 95%.

I carry Vitamin D at Sole Haven Wellness Center - $18 for a 3 month supply.

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