All of us need it. Most of us don’t get enough. Even in sunny Arizona, 85% of my patients are profoundly deficient in the ‘sunshine vitamin’. Given how much vitamin D does for our bodies, it’s a serious issue that we all need to be mindful of. Here’s how to make sure you don’t face the same problem.
Food is always my first line of treatment. However, vitamin D isn’t found in most foods. Our bodies make vitamin D when we’re exposed to the sun. The problem is that we often wash the vitamin off before we absorb it. Vitamin D is a supplement I suggest to most of my patients, even those with healthy diets.
Why is it so Important?
Vitamin D is important for the function of over two hundred genes in the body. It boosts the immune system, helps the body fight infections like the flu, and reduces autoimmunity, a condition in which your immune system attacks its own body. Vitamin D also plays a role in blood sugar metabolism and preventing diabetes. In addition, vitamin D helps our bones absorb calcium and improves muscle strength. Childhood deficiency of vitamin D causes rickets. For adults, long-term deficiency causes osteopenia and osteoporosis and raises certain cancer risks. A lack of vitamin D is also associated with pain.
It May Help Prevent Cancer
Vitamin D can cause your body to take actions that prevent cancer. For example, it increases the elimination of mutated cells. It may also increase differentiation, a process which prevents cells from becoming cancerous. As well as prevent dormant tumors from becoming cancerous by preventing the growth of new blood vessels from existing vessels.
Here’s How to Get More Vitamin D:
- Most of us need supplements of vitamin D.
- Here’s why so many of us lack it: vitamin D isn’t found in most foods. Fruits and vegetables don’t contain any. Fish are some of the only food sources of vitamin D. The amounts added to dairy products are not sufficient (and please see my other blogs posts about dairy products because they are not all good news.)
- I recommend having a blood test for 25OH vitamin D. And as I mentioned, I recommend vitamin D supplements to many of my patients, even those who eat and live well.
Chew on this
Have a blood test for the vitamin D and take supplements if needed. Make sure your levels are adequate and you’ll give your immune system a powerful boost.