Vitamin D

“The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that 50 percent of children aged one to five years old, and 70 percent of children between the ages of six to 11, are deficient or insufficient in vitamin D.” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/22/dr-holick-vitamin-d-benefits.aspx

We are continuing our series on top supplements/vitamins that I believe everyone should be taking. We’ve covered multi-vitamins and probiotics so far. Today we are talking about Vitamin D. Everyone knows that Vitamin D is from the sun; but why in the world do we need it as a supplement. New research is being done on children particularly, looking at the link between chronic disease and Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is also an important substance in regulating immunity- as it influences the cells that fight bacteria and viruses. Between the years 2001-2006 CDC found that 1/3 of the population over 1 year old was at risk for Vitamin D deficiency.http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db59.pdf What does that mean? For us? For our kids? For our health?

The level of recommended Vit. D has increased over the last few years. Dr. Mercola says the optimal range is anywhere from 50-70 ng/ml. The recommendation goes back to the fact that only within the last few generations have we become an indoor society. Farmers, explorers, pioneers, construction workers, etc. spent most of the day outside. And when studied the amount of 25 Hydroxy D (the substance that is studied when you get your blood drawn at the doctor looking for your Vitamin D levels) was about 50 ng/ml.

Sunshine is the absolute best source of Vitamin D. We have become a society of skin protectants, sunscreen, hats, shade, etc. due to our fear of cancer. This is not a bad thing; but these things make it so that we aren’t able to get the necessary Vitamin D that our bodies need to function. Certain physicians recommend not always covering up babies/kiddos (within a reasonable time frame) to allow their bodies to get the Vitamin D it needs. If this is a possibility for you- you may be one who actually does not need a Vitamin D supplement. Studies have also shown that if you live above Atlanta, GA between November and March you basically can’t make any Vitamin D in your skin anyways. However, skin is the best method because Vitamin D made in the skin lasts 2-3 times longer in the body.

The most accurate way of knowing how much Vitamin D you actually need on a daily basis is to get your blood level tested. If this isn’t a possibility the Society of Clinical practice recommends these guidelines. Neonates: 400-1,000 IUs per day, children >1 yr. 600-1000 IUs per day, Adults 1.500-2000 IUs per day. Vitamin D is also extremely important in development in utero and breastfeed infants. Studies have showed a 400% increased risk of C-section if momma is deficient in Vit. D at birth, as well a poor muscle growth for infants at the time.

Vitamin D is also showing increasing results in cancer prevention, bone development, cold and flu prevention, and many other health benefits as well. There isn’t a clear cut and dry answer whether or not you need Vitamin D supplement; but you do need Vitamin D. So get out, get some sun; and if you can’t, then take a daily supplement.

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