Years ago, when I was diagnosed with a possible life threatening disease caused by acid reflux, I was shocked to discover that a vitamin that is essential for health and well being was critically low in my body.
Vitamin D was a missing link in my greater health and well being. After a little research I learned that Vitamin D increases muscle strength and could help acid reflux in some people, by strengthening the muscle between the stomach and the esophagus. That got my attention!
But how could I possible be deficient? I live in the Sunshine State where it’s sunny almost all of the time. On average our sunshiny days are around 250 a year. How could I be deficient in the sunshine vitamin?
It was too strange. Except it turned out I’m not that unusual after all.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency happens to be a global epidemic. Three out of every four of Americans for instance don’t have enough to keep all our tissues in good working order.
Don’t worry if you didn’t know that…or know why it matters because I’ve got a ton more info to share with you.
For starters, if you’re anything like me I bet you didn’t know that Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to some serious disorders, like cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and digestive problems to name a few.
Dr. Michael Holick a leading expert and pioneer in Vitamin D research says that a lack of this vitamin is our most common health challenge in the world today.
Since I’m pretty certain you don’t want to fall prey to any health disorder and would like to keep your heart and brain functioning at their very best and your skin beautiful and glowing…here’s what I’ve discovered.
Brain, heart, gut and skin
Getting enough vitamin D is essential for our neurological health and researchers are currently investigating the link between low levels of this vitamin and Alzheimer’s disease. Good to know! Right?
We all want to have a healthy heart and once again this vitamin plays a part because our heart muscle and other circulation elements are full of vitamin D receptors, which means they need certain levels of vitamin D for optimum health and function.
Those vitamin D receptors also play a part in diabetes…so for those of us who don’t have it, and don’t want it and even those who do, maybe supplementing with vitamin D could boost your health. But clearly it’s something to check with your doctor before embarking on any changes in your regimen!
I’d already made the choice to up my vitamin D intake because hopefully I was one of the ‘some people’ whose gut would benefit and it just might help reduce the risk of more damage.
As for our skin. Well it turns out that if we have insufficient Vitamin D in our bodies our epidermal cells won’t replenish as they should and our skin becomes thinner and more fragile. Woah. Not so good when we begin to sag or get dry skin and end up looking like wrinkled prunes.
Vitamin D is absolutely essential to maintaining healthy and good looking skin.
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So what should we do?
Sunshine is the best means of getting vitamin D into our bodies, but we’ve all been scared off by the risk of skin cancer to such a degree that, for those of us who have a history of skin cancer in the family, we might not be all that keen on sitting in the sun for 15 minutes without any sunscreen. Especially the fierce sun of say…Florida!
The right kind of Vitamin D matters
There are various foods that contain this essential vitamin, but I learned it would take an awful lot of them to get the amount of vitamin D we need.
That leaves us with supplements. And if we’re going to be using supplements, which aren’t all equal or readily bioavailable, make it Vitamin D3, the most readily available form.
There are lots of good ones available, just do your research.
We are all at risk of deficiency and being aware of the role D3 plays as a nutritional supplement allows us to make healthy choices for our brain, our body and wellbeing.
The Institute of Medicine, a nonprofit organization that gives expert advice on health, recommends that adults age 19 to 70 get 600 IU a day. If you’re older than 70, you need 800 IU a day.
Some sources say considerably higher daily amounts of vitamin D…as high as 2000 IU per day are needed. And that’s the amount I take to maintain decent levels in my body. Annual blood tests keep me aware of my levels.
Although the exact amount may be in question, such we are all such individuals, the importance of vitamin D is not. Talk to your doctor for guidance on how to ensure you get the right amount for your body.
I am not a physician, or medical expert of any kind, so please take what I write as my own personal experience…I would never suggest that supplementing with Vitamin D is for everyone.
It’s always wise to consult with your doctor anyway before taking supplements to make sure they don’t interfere with any medications. Too much vitamin D can be as harmful as too little, so take them on your doctor’s advice, or try a little extra sun.
To your great health.
Encourage one another.