Vitamin D for You and Me!

Last night I listened in on a teleconference with Dr. Lani Simpson on Vitamin D. She is a chiropractic doctor and nutritionist and an expert on skin care. Check out her website: www. lanisimpson.com. I love her skincare products because they are free of parabens and other nasty things…pure enough to eat! They smell great and I’ve been happily using them for the last couple of years. 

So that aside…Vitamin D deficiency is the next huge health epidemic, I guarantee it. I have been hearing about Vitamin D for the last four years now thanks to the late Dr. Kristal who taught me all about metabolic typing (www.bloodph.com). He used to give 4000 to 5000 IU’s to our patients, more if they had dark skin. I thought he was a little extreme. Now I’m realizing he was way ahead of the game. Because of smog and fog, we’re not able to get the UVB rays from the sun anymore than cause our bodies to generate Vitamin D. Of course, the UVA rays still come through and can give us skin cancer…
So what? What’s so important about Vitamin D? Well, first of all, almost every single health issue you can think of, from high blood pressure to cancer,  is linked to low Vitamin D. It is most well known for its role in bone health, but its actions in our bodies go far beyond. As a simple test, push your finger into the middle of your breast bone. If it feels tender, chances are, you’re low in Vitamin D! 
Dr. Simpson said last night on her call, and I agree, that if there is one supplement that you have to take, it’s Vitamin D. It’s hard to get enough from food. We used to get enough from the sun, back when our lifestyles allowed more outside time and the pollution wasn’t so bad. You can get some Vitamin D from cod liver oil (blech!), wild salmon (not farm-raised!), eggs from pastured chickens (don’t believe the free-range claim unless you actually visit the farm!), and other grass fed animals. 
The RDA recommendations are under review and have recently been upgraded.  It used to be only 400 IU daily! Now most docs in the know are recommending between 2000 to 5000 IU. Pregnant women need at least 4000 IU. Make sure to take D3 instead of the less active and less easily absorbed D2  (vegetarian, make from irradiated fungus!) . The powdered form of D3 comes from sheep’s wool, and the liquid from salmon oil. Better to take the powdered to minimize potential toxic metal exposure. 
It’s always best to test your Vitamin D levels before beginning an aggressive supplementation program. It’s possible to get toxic from Vitamin D. I’ve been trying to find out from various docs what that means exactly but haven’t gotten very many clear answers. So far, I’ve hear that people can develop kidney stones (but that’s probably from taking too much Calcium at the same time). But there is some “fear” out there that you can take too much. It’s interesting to note that our bodies have an automatic shutdown system for Vitamin D production. It’s called sunburn! When you’re burnt, you stop making Vitamin D. So there’s no way to overdose from natural sunlight. 
Back in 2006, I asked my Kaiser doctor to test my Vitamin D and she refused, claiming that only elderly people and those in prison should worry about that. Finally, in October of 2008, I switched doctors and my new Kaiser doctor did the Vitamin D test for me. Turned out I was super low! The range is from 40-60 with 60 being optimal. Mine was 23….ouch…and I eat free range chicken eggs almost every day and take Nordic Naturals Cod Liver oil. 
If your doctor won’t test you, or if it cost you more than $100, get your own test through me. Contact me (sylvie@realfoodnutrition.com) for a blood spot test available through ZRT labs. It costs around $100 and is non-invasive; all you need is a few drops of blood. You can do it in your own home. It’s so important to be able to see where you’re at, and to make sure that what you’re doing is effectively bringing your levels up. I’m due for a retest in March. I’ve been taking 5000 IU daily. I was so tempted to just go to the tanning salon, but I’m in my 30’s now and the facial wrinkles are about to kick in…better plan that vacation to Hawaii instead! And wear plenty of sunscreen on my face but nowhere else, at least to get a few minutes of real Vitamin D producing activity. By the way, I’m happy to share with you a chart that tells you based on your skin type, where you live on the planet, and what time of year it is, how long you need to stay out in the sun everyday…email me at sylvie@realfoodnutrition.com.
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About nutritionthatworks

Sylvie Nalezny has a Master's degree in Holistic Health Education and is a certified Nutrition Educator. She has worked as a Nutritionist specializing in weight loss and overcoming sugar addiction and as a Wellness Coach, helping people to create healthy habits.

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