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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lack of Sun Exposure Can Make You Sick

In the past year most women coming into my office have a vitamin D deficiency. The primary source of vitamin D for both children and adults is from sun exposure. I have not always supplemented my clients with an additional vitamin D. I do now. Most people I know work inside an office, then go home leaving them with little to no sun exposure on a daily basis. Most people protect their skin from the sun. Then, there are those with darker skin which makes it even harder to get vitamin D from sun exposure. When I heard that 80% of the skin's aging happens due to sun exposure I started carrying sun screen in my purse. I apply it when I hang my arm out the window. I apply it every time I wash my face. I even put it on my ears - because my father grows skin "barnacles" as he calls them, like most people grow fingernails. He keeps his dermatologist in business. Then I read that sunscreen with only a SPF of 8 reduces the skin's production of vitamin D by 95%. So now what? 50% of the GLOBAL population is at risk of a vitamin D deficiency. It is estimated that 50,00-70,000 people in the U.S. die prematurely from cancer each year due to insufficient vitamin D levels. I started supplementing with vitamin D3 last week - taking 4,000 i.u. a day. This is why: Vitamin D is not only crucial in promoting bone health, but is is also an immune modulator. It plays an important role in glucose metabolism (the conversion of blood sugar into energy). I am not done yet. It is also an anti-inflammatory, promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, facilitates normal blood clotting and healthy breast tissue. There are two source of vitamin D. D3, known as cholecalciferol is the best source of vitamin D. D2, or ergocalciferol is manufactured by the ultraviolet radiation of yeast. D3 has been shown to be at least 3 times more effective than vitamin D2 at raising serum vitamin D levels. Quoting here from a 2008 study put out by Herb Allure: "...scientific evidence has also demonstrated an association between low levels of vitamin D and a greater risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, depression, obesity, type 1 diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. In addition, vitamin D deficiency is increasingly being diagnosed and treated in patients with cystic fibrosis." According to the pooled studies involving 1760 individuals, those with a sufficient serum vitamin D levels (corresponding to a daily intake of 4,000 i.u.) demonstrated a 50% lower risk of breast cancer than those with a serum vitamin D deficiency. And daily oral intake of 1000-2000 i.u. vitamin D3 exhibited a 50% lower incidence of colorectal cancer. Sounds like everyone needs to take this. Dr. Oz told Oprah that it is one of his favorite vitamins to suggest as part of a daily supplement regimen. It's going to be getting darker earlier in our day, protect yourself by supplementing with vitamin D3.