I am sure you know that Vitamin D- the “Sunshine Vitamin”- is good for you- but it might be even better and more important for you than you are aware of.
Vitamin D itself is biologically inactive, and it must be transformed by the liver into its biologically active form. You can get your Vitamin D through consuming foods that are rich in Vitamin D (like eggs, fish, or cod liver oil), or you get it by going outside and exposing your skin to the sun. The action of the ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation will stimulate the epidermis to produce Vitamin D.
One of the important functions of vitamin D is to enhance the absorption of calcium form food. This is the reason it reduces the risk of rickets, osteoporosis and bone fractures.
This information is probably not new to you- but now it comes:
Recent research shows new evidence that Vitamin D can also protect you from breast, colon, kidney, ovarian and prostate cancer. With some trials showing a startling 77 percent of cancer risk reduction. (4 year study, with supplementation of 1,100 IU of Vitamin D3, and 1,500 mg calcium)
It can reduce high blood pressure, protect you against developing an autoimmune disease (like diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis), it can help with muscle weakness and pain, and can reduce the incidence of the common cold and seasonal influenza.
Let’s take a look what the risk factors for Vitamin D deficiency are:
• Covering all exposed skin when outside and wearing a sunscreen all the time. (If you apply a sunscreen with a SPF factor of 8 your production of vitamin D will be reduced by 95%)
• Dark skin: People with dark skin produce less Vitamin D on exposure to sunlight than those with light-colored skin.
• Aging: the older you are, the less your body produces Vitamin D
• Obesity: When you are too heavy, your body will store the Vitamin D in your fatty tissues, where it is not active- another reason to slim down.
• If you are living in places with latitudes north of the 37th parallel, you can’t get your Vitamin D naturally during the winter’s months because of the sun’s angel. (And of course, if you happen to live like me in San Francisco- during the so-called summer, the fog will also reduce your Vitamin D production.)
How much Vitamin D?
Good question- the FDA’s recommendations are ridiculously low, so I suggest you take at least 800 I.U per day.
I give to my clients a plant based source of Vitamin D (depending on the time of year an other factors between 800 IU to 2400 IU)