sunlight

Vitamin D – What’s so special about the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’ ?

By Dr. Oakley

The real question is what is not special about Vitamin D! There has been great research performed on vitamin D over the last 10 years verifying how crucial it is for your overall health and wellbeing – it’s a secret cornerstone to your health!

Vitamin D is a hormone – NOT a vitamin!

Vitamin D is not a vitamin, it’s a hormone! A hormone is a molecule that can be created in the body and can send messages between different parts of the body. Recent research has discovered that “all cells, tissues and organs in the human body have vitamin D receptors, meaning that they await the arrival of the vitamin to perform various vital functions.”1

We don’t fully understand how vitamin D is involved in so many bodily processes – but it is! When your blood levels get low, more bodily processes are affected that will slowly and surely compromise your health.

Vitamin D prevents cancer

Vitamin D has been proven to prevent 16 different types of cancers!1 Considering that 1 in 3 people get cancer (this is now approaching 1 in 2 people) this alone is a stellar reason to supplement with vitamin D!

Dr. Rona discusses the fact that researchers have calculated that 600,000 cancer cases would be prevented each year by simply increasing the blood levels of vitamin D! That supplemental dose is estimated to be 5,000-10,000 IU/day.1

Both Dr. Rona1 as well as Dr. Kime2 have documented cases where their patients have cured their cancers by using vitamin D/sun tanning.

Vitamin D prevents stroke

Dr. Stefan Pilz, MD and colleagues followed over 3000 seniors for almost 8 years. They assessed their vitamin D levels and who had strokes over this time period. They found that those who were low in Vitamin D were significantly more likely to die from stroke. They conclude: “…vitamin D supplementation is a promising approach in the prevention of strokes.”3

Vitamin D is associated with diabetes

Vitamin D helps diabetes! Because vitamin D is involved with so many bodily processes it’s actually not surprising that those with diabetes are usually very deficient – I found this to be the case in a study we did on assessing the blood levels in 106 type 2 diabetes patients attending my colleagues clinic in Maryland.4 74% of the study group were deficient! Vitamin D supplementation is a cornerstone of their diabetes reversal program there.

Vitamin D prevents and reduces lesion size in multiple sclerosis 

Multiple sclerosis virtually doesn’t exist along the equator! The farther from the equator you live, the greater the chances of having multiple sclerosis. Dr. Kimball and colleagues from the University of Toronto found that when MS patients supplemented with 8,000-10,000 IU/day their brain lesions were reduced by more than half there size!5 

Vitamin D changes genetic expression

Vitamin D is associated with more than 2000 genes responsible for disease prevention.1 Therefore, it is not surprising how important an impact it may have on your health. Michael Holick, PhD, MD and colleagues studied the change in genetic expression in 8 adults with vitamin D supplementation.6 Supplementation for only two months caused at least a 1.5 fold alteration in the expression of 291 genes!

They conclude: “Our data suggest that any improvement in vitamin D status will significantly affect expression of genes that have wide variety of biologic functions of more than 160 pathways linked to cancer, autoimmune disorders and cardiovascular disease with have been associated with vitamin D deficiency. This study reveals for the first time molecular finger prints that help explain the nonskeletal health benefits of vitamin D.”6

Vitamin D reduces falls in elderly by 50%

Bischoff and colleagues put a group of 122 elderly women on a program of Vitamin D and calcium for a 3-month period.7 The risk of falling was reduced by 49% as well as an increase in muscular function as compared to just calcium alone.7

Vitamin D prevents death

Vitamin D decreases your chances of dying! Yes, you read this correct.

A German study followed 13,331 healthy men and women for 9 years.8 During this time, 1806 people died. When the data were analyzed comparing the vitamin D levels that were measured initially, it was determined that those persons with the lowest levels of vitamin D had a 71% greater chance of dying regardless of cause of death. They conclude: “vitamin D deficiency… was strongly associated with mortality from all causes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and respiratory diseases.”

Other studies have found the same. Dr. Dobnig and colleagues followed 3258 patients for almost 8 years.9 During this time 737 patients had died. Results from comparing vitamin D levels taken initially revealed that those with the lowest levels were more than twice as likely to die than those with higher vitamin D levels.9 They state: “Our results make it much more clear that all men and women concerned about their overall health should more closely monitor their blood levels of vitamin D, and make sure they have enough.”9

Bottom Line

Supplement Vitamin D! Take 5,000-10,000 IU/day.

 

References

  1. Rona, Z. Vitamin D. The sunshine vitamin. Book Publishing Co. Summertown, TN. 2010
  1. Kime, ZR. Sunlight. World Health Publications. Penryn, CA. 1980.
  1. Pilz S, Dobnig H, Fischer JE, Wellnitz B, Seelhorst U, Boehm BO, März W. Low vitamin d levels predict stroke in patients referred to coronary angiography. Stroke. 2008 Sep;39(9):2611-3.
  1. Oakley, P., Chaney, S., Persinger, M. and Chaney, T. Low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients presenting to a functional medicine clinic. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 2013; 6, 12-15. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2013.65A003.
  1. Kimball SM, Ursell MR, O’Connor P, Vieth R. Safety of vitamin D3 in adults with multiple sclerosis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Sep;86(3):645-51.
  1. Hossein-nezhad A, Spira A, Holick MF. Influence of vitamin D status and vitamin D3 supplementation on genome wide expression of white blood cells: a randomized double-blind clinical trial. PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e58725.
  1. Bischoff HA, Stähelin HB, Dick W, Akos R, Knecht M, Salis C, Nebiker M, Theiler R, Pfeifer M, Begerow B, Lew RA, Conzelmann M. Effects of vitamin D and calcium supplementation on falls: a randomized controlled trial. J Bone Miner Res. 2003 Feb;18(2):343-51.
  1. Schottker B, Haug U, et al. Strong associations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations with all-cause, cardiovascular, cancer, and respiratory disease mortality in a large cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr, 2013 Apr;97(4):782-93.
  1. Dobnig H, Pilz S, Scharnagl H, Renner W, Seelhorst U, Wellnitz B, Kinkeldei J, Boehm BO, Weihrauch G, Maerz W. Independent association of low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin d and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin d levels with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jun 23;168(12):1340-9.
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