The Sunshine Vitamin
If you could strengthen your bones, fight off different forms of cancer, stave off autoimmune disorders, drop your chance of heart attack, improve your mood, and fight infections – for a few dollars a month - would you be interested?
Enter vitamin D.
Professor G. Schwalfenberg (University of Alberta) said that “60 to 70% [of Canadians] have inadequate levels” of vitamin D (Statscan research) and he continued, “[this] is not good” given that vitamin D insufficiency is being linked to so many diseases. “Inadequate” was compared to the recommended daily intake of vitamin D – which is just enough for bone development. This data is particularly disturbing when abundant evidence indicates “far higher” levels of vitamin D are required for the prevention of chronic diseases.
A 4-year study (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) found a 60 to 77% decrease in cancer rates in postmenopausal women taking daily vitamin D supplements. Yay!
Researchers at the University of California say taking 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily and getting 10-15 minutes of sun daily could reduce incidence of colorectal cancer by as much as two-thirds. They also found breast cancer rates were 50% lower in people with high levels of vitamin D in their blood.
A study in 2006 (of 7 million people!) found that people who had high levels of vitamin D were 62% less likely to develop MS than those with the lowest levels.
A study of 19,000+ participants (Archives of Internal Medicine) found that people with the lowest vitamin D levels were 40% more likely to have colds and flu.
New research (2012, 10,000+ people) shows that low levels of vitamin D are associated with a “markedly higher risk of heart attack and early death…no less than 81% higher risk of death from heart disease.”
Are we seeing a trend here? There’s more, a lot more, but you get the idea. Now let’s get practical.
The University of California recommends taking a 2000 IU supplement, and then have a nice sit in the sun every day to get enough vitamin D, but, er, have you looked outside today? April to September is usually the only time we may get UV ratings high enough to make vitamin D (ignoring the snow and temperatures). Therefore, supplements are usually necessary.
Health Canada says 800-4000 IUs per day. Two cancer specialists tell me they recommend 10,000 IUs per day for everyone. I've talked to many customers whose local doctors recommend from 2000 to 10,000 IUs a day. My local doctor recently recommended I increase my 5000 IUs per day (that I've done for many years) to 5000 IUs twice a day.
In the summer we’re at work, in our car, at the mall, in the shade, or wearing sun screen – no vitamin D production happening there. Canadian government research has shown that by November levels of vitamin D drop to 30% of their already-too-low summertime levels. It can take weeks or months to get our levels back to where they should be. So, take your vitamin D, take it year-round, or… *looks out the window* spend your winter in Texas?
Mona Sims CNPA