Vitamin D – Lovely!
Happy new year! Here in Polson MT we don’t get a lot of sun in the winter due to the ‘lake effect’ so I have been refreshing myself on Vitamin D3 supplementation. I have gleaned the following info from Mercola.com. For much more info and recommendations I recommend the two articles I am summarizing below.
The First article is entitled Little Sunshine Mistakes that can give your body cancer instead of Vitamin D – catchy little title. Here are some interesting facts:
Sunscreen (moisturizer with an SPF value), while blocking the UVA rays, which can tan - or burn - your skin, also keeps out UVB rays, which bring D3 to you, which is good for a lot of things. It is recommended therefore to allow your skin (not counting your face, which should be protected from exposure by a cap or sunscreen) to be exposed without sunscreen initially (we are talking minutes not hours..). Work your way up on exposure so your melanocyte cells can keep up – they are the ones that produce pigmentation, i.e. make your skin tan.
In the more northern latitudes, there isn’t even a way for your body to get D3 during the fall and winter because the UVB wavelengths are reflected away from the earth by the ozone layer, being at the wrong angle. What you get are the UVA rays, which are the ones that can cause skin cancer. So the solution is tanning beds or D3.
Interesting: after being in the summer sun you should wait 48 hours for the vitamin D to be absorbed before washing. Bathing washes it away. Dr. Mercola recommends that you only use soap under your arms and other strategic locations. This also goes for if you use D3 topically - let it be absorbed for 48 hrs. before washing.
Getting your sun through a window doesn’t work because only the UVA gets through, not the UVB. UVA actually destroys vitamin D. When you are in full sun, they balance each other out, but through a window it doesn’t work like that.
Just today, Dr. Mercola came out with another article on D3 and here are some of the highlights from it: Vitamin D supplementation is good for increasing muscle power and decreasing waist size, which is good news for Type II Diabetes risk, as well as cardiovascular disease risk.
A recent study showed that supplementing with D3 helps rejuvenate aging eyes! It reduces inflammation and also reduces a risk factor for macular degeneration. D3 has also shown to be helpful for reducing the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
Remember the old days of sanatariums, where folks with Tuberculosis went to recuperate by being in the sun – well now its scientifically proven that D is good against not only that disease but against pneumonia, too! And more studies are showing that D helps folks with Epilepsy control their seizures better.
Over in Europe, the recommended daily D intake is much higher than in the US. The European Food Safety Authority now recommends that people age 11 and older take 4,000 IU/day, children age 1-10 take 2,000 IU/day, and babies less than one year old take 1,000 IU/day.
I checked the Mayo Clinic website for their recommendations. Sure enough, the recommendations this side of the ocean max out at 600-800 IU per day. BUT, then they go on to give other figures for specific health issues that report using much higher levels. It appears even 10,000 IU per day of D does not produce any adverse effects.
Hmmm methinks, how much would be too much and what would happen? Another Mayo Clinic article states that “Taking 50,000 international units (IU) a day of vitamin D for several months has been shown to cause toxicity.” Symptoms include poor appetite, nausea and vomiting, weakness, frequent urination and kidney problems, and the cure is to reduce D intake.
Interestingly, Dr. Mercola says that D may have even more benefits if you can get it from the sun (he hasn’t taken D pills for years, but winters in Florida!) – this hasn't been proven in the lab yet, like so many things…Essiac comes to mind….but he says "there's cause to believe" this is so.
Last fact: D2 is not recommended - it is the synthetic form of D3.
Remember John Denver? "Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy." Its true!
"Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower." - Hans Christian Andersen
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