To D or Not to D – no longer a question
”If you had to choose a single nutrient that would help you ward off heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, dementia, influenza, bacterial infections, depression, insomnia, muscle weakness, fibromyalgia, osteomalacia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, psoriasis, multiples sclerosis, and hypertension, it would be vitamin D”. (M. Holick, The Vitamin D Solution, Hudson Press). (Purchase book)
What?!? Isn’t that amazing!?! But why? Vitamin D has an effect on at least 200 human genes and is critical in the normal functioning of our immune system and cell division. When our cells are short of vitamin D, the processes of cell proliferation and differentiation become defective, and, remember, our body replaces 300,000 cells daily. This can lead to abnormal cell division and thus cancer growth (or other degenerative diseases).
Now for the science
More than 2,500 published studies confirm vitamin D’s role in the prevention of cancer. Let’s look at one example of the many recent scientific studies: A four year clinical trial was done that involved nearly 1,200 women. Subjects were assigned to take daily: 1,400 mg of calcium alone, OR 1,400 mg of calcium plus 1,100 IU of vitamin D, OR a placebo. After only 4 years, the risk of developing any type of cancer was 60% lower in the vitamin D group. If you excluded the cancers diagnosed in the first year (because these cancers were most likely already present before the study) there was a 77% reduction in all types of cancer in the vitamin D group. In fact, scientists at the University of California, San Diego, now contend that low vitamin D status may be the root cause of all cancers! Wow!
The ancients of Rome, Egypt, Greece, Peru, even North America all knew that sunlight was healing – they just didn’t know why. Since the turn of the 20th century scientists have known that the body synthesizes vitamin D from sunshine and exposure to sunshine cures many diseases. Unfortunately, everyone living outside of the tropics, or living a mostly indoor lifestyle, simply cannot get enough vitamin D from the sun. We must supplement and the consensus seems to be with at least 1,200iu daily. (Although Michael Holick suggests a daily dose of 2,000 – 5,000 iu is perfectly safe, and Dr. Christiane Northrup recommends 4,000iu daily)
And vitamin D doesn’t just cure – it’s a crucial ingredient for a healthy immune system so we can avoid illnesses like the ‘flu. Biochemist Lyle McWilliam, (founder of the NutriSearch Corp., and author of the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements) takes 7000iu of vitamin D daily during the ‘flu season instead of a ‘flu shot.
Don’t overlook happiness
And let’s not overlook the happiness piece…
My husband, Michael, has SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). This normally charming and extroverted man was a snarly black cloud for six weeks every winter and very hard to live with! Four years ago I convinced him to start taking a high quality Vitamin D supplement (3,000-4,000 iu/day) and Michael is now his lovely, exuberant self all year ’round! (This is the D we take)
I’ve just given you a tiny taste of why supplementing with Vitamin D is a must for us all in North America! (and, fyi, I’m a sun-avoiding redhead and take at least 4,000 iu vitamin Dᶾ daily, year-round!)
To D or not to D – no longer a question!
Yours, in happiness and health,