Get Your Vitamin D Checked!
Researchers have shown us that individuals with low levels of Vitamin D in their bodies have an increased risk of developing cancer.
Vitamin D: also called the “SUNSHINE VITAMIN”. New research also showing that VITAMIN D acts more like a HORMONE in our body. Almost every cell in our body contains vitamin D receptors which accounts for the overwhelming number of positive health benefits you can receive you supplement with Vitamin D.
A steroid vitamin which naturally produced in your body which promotes the intestinal absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that includes vit D-1, D-2 and D-3.
Besides getting vitamin D through sunlight, you can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.
Beware of “D-ficiency”
Many lifestyle and environmental factors can affect your ability to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D through the sun alone. These factors include:
· being in an area with high pollution
· using sunscreen
· spending more time indoors
· living in big cities where buildings block sunlight
· having darker skin
· if you’re aged 50 or older
· if you’re obese or overweight
These factors contribute to vitamin D deficiency in an increasing number of people. That’s why it’s important to get some of your vitamin D checked regularly.
VITAMIN D can decrease your risk of Cancer
Researchers have shown us that individuals with low levels of Vitamin D in their bodies have an increased risk of developing cancer. Vitamin D receptors actually regulate a large number of signalling pathways involved in inflammation, tumor growth and immune system surveillance for cancer.
However treating cancer cells in culture with Vitamin D produces a number of actions that help fight cancer, decreases tumor proliferation, decreases inflammation, reduces invasiveness of the cancer.
Food sources of vitamin D
Few foods contain vitamin D naturally. Because of this, some foods are fortified. This means that vitamin D has been added. Foods that contain vitamin D include:
•orange juice (fortified)
Vitamin D has multiple roles in your body
· Maintaining the health of bones and teeth
· Supporting the immune system
· Regulating Insulin levels
· Supporting lungs and cardiovascular health
· Influencing the expression of genes responsible for cancer development
Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
If you don’t get enough Vit D, you’re at risk of abnormalities
1. Frequent infections
2. Increase tiredness, a feeling of overall pain
3. Difficulty in climbing stairs or an abnormal gait
4. Weak muscles and bones
5. Depression and anxiety
6. Sweaty hands
Do I need to schedule my vitamin D test at a certain time, or together with other tests?
Vitamin D testing is best done:
•At any time when you have not been exposed to UVB light for ~6 weeks, as in late fall through late spring or summer
•After discontinuing vitamin D supplement use for at least 3 days
•When you are at least 4 hours fasting
•Together with a test for serum calcium levels (an indicator for toxicity
How can I get enough vitamin D?
Thirty minutes of sun exposure to the face, legs, or back -- without sunscreen -- at least twice a week should give you plenty of vitamin D.But this much direct sun exposure might also expose you to potentially dangerous levels of cancer-causing UV radiation you probably won't get enough sunlight during the winter months for your body to make enough vitamin D. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends against getting vitamin D from unprotected exposure to sunlight.
How much vitamin D do I need?
· Infants age 0 to 6 months: adequate intake, 400 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 1,000 IU/day
• Infants age 6 to 12 months: adequate intake, 400 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 1,500 IU/day
• Age 1-3 years: adequate intake, 600 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 2,500 IU/day
• Age 4-8 years: adequate intake, 600 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 3,000 IU/day
• Age 9-70: adequate intake, 600 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 4,000 IU/day
• Age 71+ years: adequate intake, 800 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 4,000 IU/day
How do I know how much vitamin D to take to get replete?
How much supplemental vitamin D3 to take depends on how much is in your blood. And how much your body needs to get your levels higher differs from person to person.
We recommend 1000–2000 IU/day unless you are working with a qualified functional medicine practitioner or nutritionist with regular testing in follow-up.
If you are deficient, more than this will likely be necessary, but any supplementation above and beyond 2000 IU daily should only be done in conjunction with periodic testing and under the watchful guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. Again, if you have a serious medical problem, testing and regular follow-up will be needed.
How can I maintain my vitamin D levels once I get them up to where I want to be?
The answer will vary, according to your age, skin tone, where you live (latitude), the seasons, and your lifestyle (indoors or outdoors, sunscreen protection, and other aspects of the way you live). It will also depend on other risk factors for vitamin D deficiency, and you may want to modify accordingly. Again, the best way to know is to get tested periodically.
For maintenance after boosting and ideal range is fully achieved:
•Fall/winter months – 2000 IU vitamin D3 daily after ideal level is reached.
•Spring/summer months – 1000 IU vitamin D3 daily, with 15–30 minutes of daily sun exposure to limbs without sunscreen at safe-sun times of day (avoiding 11:00 am – 2:00 pm), then regular retesting again in the mid to late fall.
Maintenance retesting notions to consider after reaching ideal range:
•For those initially found deficient – retesting at least every 6 months
•For those initially found insufficient – retesting at least annually
•For those initially found not ideal –retest with fasting lipid profiles every one to two years
By: Dr Sharifa Shahreen - SOL Integrative Doctor