*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

Jeanine Toes, AADP

Certified Integrative Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach

www.NovoWellnessforLife.com 

Boy do we need some sunshine!

After such a lousy winter in the US, it’s time the think of something brighter…and the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Vitamin D is SUNSHINE!

Many health experts consider the benefits of vitamin D to be one of the most important health discoveries in the last century! How amazing is that? Every time we pick up a newspaper or magazine there is some article raving about Vitamin D and the illnesses that could develop with deficiencies. Doctors are routinely testing for Vitamin D at physicals now.


 I tend to wear a lot of sunscreen and always chased after my kids with sunscreen and hats (2 out of 4 are redheads and fair). Maybe it’s time to let a little sun shine on my shoulders, and I stress little, as we know that too much sun can damage skin and potentially put you at risk for other problems.

 The Bare Basics:

Vitamin D is found in 2 forms. Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol), is made by plants. You can find it in foods that have been fortified, such as juices, milk, or cereals (not really the best source). However, Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol), the most complete form of Vitamin D, is made when the skin is exposed to sun.

We’ve been somewhat “brain-washed” by the media to think that all sun exposure is bad. This is NOT TRUE! Getting 15 minutes of direct sunlight on unprotected skin is usually enough to get in your daily dose. Nature is your best bet for Vitamin D. Including foods in your diet that contain vitamin D, like fish (wild salmon, tuna), cod liver oil, milk, eggs, fresh fruits, and vegetables will also help. Unfortunately, as we age many of us cannot get enough Vitamin D through food sources or sun exposure.

It is estimated that up to 2/3 of the population is Vitamin D deficient and needs to take a Vitamin D3 supplement. Some doctors estimate that the majority of teens are deficient. Other risk groups are those suffering with Irritable Bowel Disease and obesity.  Keep in mind that it is a fat-soluble vitamin and should be taken with a meal for the best absorption possible.


What are symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency? According to Frank Lipman, MD these are some symptoms, many which could be confused with other ailments:


Fatigue                                                                            Weight gain
High blood pressure                                                        Restless sleep
Poor concentration                                                          Headaches
Bladder problems                                                           Constipation or diarrhea
General muscle pain and weakness                               Muscle cramps
Joint pain                                                                        Chronic pain


So what are some of the benefits?

  • Bone Health – Vitamin D aids in the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous
  • Increases bone density & helps decrease fractures
  • Helps to prevent osteoporosis
  • Enhances the immune system, lowering the incidence of colds or flu
  • Lowers incidence of cancer & rheumatoid arthritis
  • Controls hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Aids in heart/cardiovascular health, preventing premature death
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Prevention against diabetes, autoimmune diseases, & multiple sclerosis
  • Eases muscle aches & fibromyalgia symptoms
  • Improves serotonin (feel good hormone) levels, thus aiding the control of depression
  • Helps control appetite and even improves fat-loss efforts!!

As you can see, Vitamin D is absolutely necessary for good health & the list of benefits just keeps on GROWING.

How do I know if I am getting enough?

Have a blood test called 25(OH). It is the ONLY blood test out there that measures the amount of Vitamin D to determine if you are getting enough or not. This test is especially important if you have family history of cancer or autoimmune disease. As always, speak with your health care professional about whether or not you need supplementation.

*Sources and more info: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/28/vitamin-d-deficiency-signs-symptoms.aspx,

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/

http://www.drfranklipman.com/symptoms-diseases-associated-with-vitamin-d-deficiency/

​Sunshine on My Shoulders: The Magic of Vitamin D

                                  Jeanine Toes, CHHC, AADP