Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Vitamin D Deficiency Fact of Fiction?

Have you ever wondered why flu season is always during the winter months and that more people suffer from the flu as they move away from the equator than in the areas closer to the equator. More and more studies are coming out showing that it may be due to Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that plays a large role in immune function. Our primary source of this vitamin is actually from the sun. This is one of the reasons winter time affects our levels of Vitamin D. While overexposure to the sun can be harmful, lack of sunlight can be just as harmful.
The studies have definitely proven that Vitamin D deficiency is playing a large part to the reason we get sick in the winter but how do we address this issue. Many doctors are saying we need to supplement our diets with it. Some are saying to supplement it with 2-4000 IUs/day and some are saying that we need to be taking 8-10,000 IUs/day even though research states that we need about 400 IUs/day to function. Why would we need to take so much then?
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that our bodies can store. Remember that I stated that our best source is from the sun. Therefore this is where we should start, we should build up a great store of vitamin D during the summer months. Research states that about 20 minutes of exposure/day is all we need.
Next we get it from our food and finally from supplementation. Great sources of food are:
Purified Cod Liver Oil (high amounts of naturally occurring Vitamin A & D);
Egg yolks, organic butter, oily fish (salmon~mackerel~sardines~herring);
Mushrooms & dark, leafy green vegetables
When it comes to supplementation and enriched foods, there is a problem. Most of them are from synthetic vitamins which the body does not recognize as well and won't utilize them but your body will store them leading to a toxicity to that vitamin.
In order to get the vitamin D that your body needs, you must eat foods high in it, supplement your diet with a whole food supplement, and make sure your body has all the proper enzymes to digest and utilize the vitamin. How do you know if your body has those enzymes. One way is that if you are doing the things I have recommended and your levels test low in a blood test, your enzymes are probably not working they way they should. Another way is to meet with Christine our naturopath. She can determine through special tests she does along with a great detailed history. If it is determined that your enzymes are not functioning they way they are suppose to, Christine can work with yo to get them back to where they need to be.

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