Vitamin D: Good for Winter Blues

Vitamin D is almost a wonder vitamin. It comes from sunlight, seafood, and mushrooms and is known to lower cancer rates, help heal bone fractures, reduce diabetes and heart disease symptoms. Take vitamin D if you are anxious and depressed. If you don’t go outdoors much during any time of the year you are probably part of the 75 percent of Americans who don’t get enough vitamin D.

You might think it is easier to just take a supplement. These are effective, but they are costly and can be contaminated with heavy metals. Dutch researchers have printed studies that give you the answer ” “ go outside even when it is cold.

Getting Vitamin D

Researchers in clinical studies tested fifty-five adults between 18 and 65 with artificial light sources containing ultraviolet radiation or UV rays. By sitting under a heat or UV light in their underwear for up to 10 minutes vitamin D levels increased. Sounds productive, but sitting around under lights in your underwear might not be the best answer.   Doesn”t matter if it is winter, the sun is still shinning. Make the most of sun exposure in the winter by:

  • Allowing the sun to shin on as much of your skin as you can.
  • Go out when the sun is at its highest point in your locality
  • Watch the color in your skin. If you have been in the cold sunny air for a bit and your skin turns pink, you have had enough sun and cold exposure.  

Living in an artic area and standing out in the cold might not be the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. Try supplements. Your body does not absorb vitamin D from supplements as well or quickly as it does from the sun, so you will need to take higher doses. Try a 600 IU supplement and gradually increase up to 800 IU. Make sure you purchase supplements that are certified by the US Pharmacopeia or   Purchase vitamin D from a verified health food stores. Be careful you don”t purchase cheap but contaminated vitamin D supplements.

Pros and Cons of Vitamin D

Cons against vitamin D are listed:

  • Won”t cure the common cold
  • Doesn”t reduce cholesterol short or long term
  • Knee pain is still prevalent in osteoarthritis
  • You children will not do better in school
  • Bone fractures will still happen
  • COPD is not cured  

Research has proven that there are definite pros to taking the sunshine vitamin. Some of these are:

  • Blood pressure reduces in African Americans
  • Decreases osteoporosis
  • Maintains longevity for seniors
  • Protects against heart disease and strokes
  • Helps prevent brain and memory decline
  • Eases symptoms in multiple sclerosis patients  

Your body needs vitamin D to help with the absorption of calcium that forms healthy bones and teeth. The body converts vitamin D into a hormone to provide help for many body systems and organs. Keep up your normal dosage of vitamin D to prevent Alzheimer”s disease and augment cognitive functioning.

Have bad teeth? Vitamin D helps prevent tooth decay. Try taking vitamin D supplements or cod liver oil for an almost 50% reduction in tooth decay. (More studies need to be finalized on this benefit.)

Take vitamin D to help prevent colon, breast and prostate cancers. Studies have shown that those with high vitamin D levels have a lower incidence of these distressing cancers. Whether or not it is the supplements or a healthy diet and active lifestyle needs to be proven. The bottom line: if you eat healthy and exercise, your body will find the necessary vitamin D supplements it needs.

Vitamin D has been proven to reduce the inflammation in lungs of those who are stricken with TB.

Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked with multiple sclerosis. MS is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the body”s own tissues. Vitamin D may help to prevent the body”s rejection and lessen the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

In an Australian study, women who have low amounts of vitamin D in their blood streams are at risk for gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and low birth weight in their babies. Vitamin D deficiencies are not the only causes of these problems, but it does contribute.

Before starting a vitamin D plan, talk with your doctor to determine what amount is best for you. If you are obese, have dark skin or use sunscreen that interferes with vitamin D production in the skin you may have deficiencies. Do have a vitamin D blood test done every year to determine if you are deficient. Supplements are great, but even in winter you need to run outside for a bit. Make sure, however, you are adequately covered.


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