The importance of Vitamin D cannot be overstated—it is absolutely essential for optimum health. In order to give you a basic understanding of vitamin D and how you can get it, I have provided the following questions and answers.
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is actually a steroid hormone your body naturally produces (synthesizes) when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
According to Mitchell A. Fleisher, M.D., D.Ht., D.A.B.F.M., Dc.A.B.C.T., Homeopathic Family Medicine & Nutritional Therapy, Vitamin D3, cholecalciferol, is a critically important nutrient that is much more than just a vitamin. It actually acts as a steroid hormone involved in multiple physiological pathways essential for health and well-being, including mineral and bone metabolism, and normal cardiovascular, neurological and immune system function. Adequate levels of vitamin D3 (i.e., greater than 50 nanograms per millimeter) help prevent bone loss (osteopenia and osteoporosis), atherosclerotic heart and blood vessel disease, Alzheimer’s disease, several different forms of cancer, as well as being the very best prevention for viral influenza.
Where can I get vitamin D?
The two sources of vitamin D are:
- Exposure of your skin to sunlight
- Vitamin D3 from supplements and diet
Which way of getting vitamin D is more beneficial?
There is a significant difference between the two different ways of getting vitamin D.
Vitamin D from the sun
The vitamin D your body naturally produces when your skin is exposed to sunlight can be stored by your body until it is needed. During the summer months, when ultraviolet B (UVB) light levels are high, the vitamin D your body produces is stored in your cellular tissues, so your body can tap into it during the winter months, when the sun’s levels of ultraviolet light are lower and your body is less able to synthesize vitamin D. Also, vitamin D from the sun does influence your mood.
Vitamin D from supplements and diet
The most important issue here is that your body doesn’t store the vitamin D you get through supplements and diet, so you must get more every day. Also, vitamin D3 you get from supplements and diet does not influence your mood.
Why is vitamin D so important?
Vitamin D supports the proper function of cells. According to the Vitamin D Council there is a connection between low vitamin D levels and colds and flu, bone health, asthma, rickets, multiple sclerosis, fatigue, depression, Type II diabetes, preeclampsia, colorectal cancer, other cancers, and more.
Who is most at risk of having low vitamin D levels?
Large segments of the U.S. population are very much at risk. In his groundbreaking book, The Vitamin D Cure, James Dowd, M.D., writes Current statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that more than half of the general population is vitamin D deficient regardless of age. And about 70 percent of elderly Americans and 90 percent of Americans of color are vitamin D deficient. Add to the mix people who are overweight or obese because of dietary imbalance or inactivity, and the totals are staggering.
What should I do to make sure I don’t fall prey to vitamin D deficiency?
What you can do is become intimately familiar with your number—your body’s level of vitamin D3. Ask your doctor to test your body’s level of vitamin D3. If your insurance won’t pay for it, do it anyway. It will be the best money you have ever spent. Once you know your number, you can put together a plan that involves sun exposure, diet and supplements to give your body the best defense against many of the illnesses that plague our society today.
Written by: Michael J. Russ & Peter Zahner, Authors
About the Authors
The questions posed in this article are an excerpt from the newly published eBook, Sun Care Decoded: Answers to Questions You Didn’t Know to Ask ( www.amazon.com) by Michael J. Russ, founder of www.puresunscreen.com, and Peter Zahner, who invented MelanSol certified 100% natural moisturizer, sunscreen, and sunburn gel.