Archive for science based nutrition

A Vitamin D Deficiency Could Leave You Unprotected

oman getting the benefits of vitamin D through sunshineDuring a patient’s routine yearly physical, many doctors now include a lab test which screens for a Vitamin D Deficiency. If your doctor finds your Vitamin D levels are low, there’s a good chance he or she will recommend a Vitamin D supplement. Before you decide to ignore your doctor’s advice, you should know there’s a good reason Vitamin D has been getting so much attention recently.

Vitamin D Benefits

Vitamin D:

  • Helps control how much calcium is absorbed from food
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Helps protect our bodies against radiation damage

It may also:

  • Protect against heart disease
  • Provide added protection against developing cancer
  • Decrease the frequency and severity of asthma attacks
  • Help maintain brain health as we age

You may know that our bodies synthesize Vitamin D through exposure to the UVB rays that sunlight provides. Experts tell us that as little as 10 – 20 minutes of sun exposure each day, will provide enough Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays for our bodies to produce about 10,000 international units (IUs) of the vitamin–more that enough for the average person. This advice would suggest that active adults who spend time outside for even a short time each day should have “normal” blood serum levels of Vitamin D. However, I can tell you almost every patient that I treat in our science based nutrition program has a Vitamin D Deficiency.

So why are so many people Vitamin D deficient?

There are several reasons. The 10 to 20 minute a day recommendation is based upon the sun received by a light skinned person wearing a tank top and shorts. Darker skinned people don’t produce as much Vitamin D, therefore they will need more sun exposure. Also, as we age, it often becomes more difficult for the body to fully convert the sunlight we receive into this essential vitamin. To protect against wrinkling and the skin-damaging effects of the sun, many of us have turned to sunscreens. Most sunscreens block the sunlight needed for the vitamin conversion. And finally, where we live is another factor. In the winter, residents of Northern States won’t be able to get the vitamin D they need through sun exposure, since the sun doesn’t rise high enough in the sky for the UVB rays to penetrate the earth’s atmos-phere.

Ways to overcome a Vitamin D deficiency

Picture of Vitamin D rich mackereIf you wanted to get more vitamin C, you could walk into any supermarket and grab an orange. By gobbling up just one of these tasty citrus fruits, you’d receive 100% of the recommended RDA. But it’s difficult to obtain vitamin D from foods, since few foods contain it naturally. Both salmon and mackerel contain vitamin D, as does fish liver oil. Vitamin D is also found in beef; liver, egg yolks and cheese. However many Americans simply don’t eat enough of these items to insure adequate Vitamin D intake.

A word of advice when choosing a Vitamin D supplement

Scientific studies suggest that Vitamin D3 supplementation is more effective than Vita-min D2. The quality of the vitamin also makes a difference. That why we only stock pharmaceutical grade supplements which are available exclusively to professional health care practitioners.

Recommended dosages

We stock Vitamin D in two difference strengths, 5000 IU and 10,000 IU. We recommend the higher dosage for those patients with extremely low blood levels of Vitamin D, while 5000 IU is an excellent daily maintenance dose for most patients. If you’re unsure of your Vitamin D levels and would like to make sure you’re receiving all the cancer protection and immune enhancing benefits possible from this amazing vitamin, give a us call. Our simple and affordable blood test will determine if you would benefit from a Vitamin D supplement. While you’re at it, ask us how we can help you feel your best with our Science Based Nutrition Programs.

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