Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Vitamin D and Your Health

Vitamin D is well known for helping increase calcium absorption, but did you know that vitamin D is important for many other things, as well.

Vitamin D can be obtained in two ways. One is from sun exposure and the other is from diet. Vitamin D from sun exposure is formed in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight (particularly UVB rays), with no sunscreen or other interference. Those with darker skin routinely absorb less vitamin D from sun exposure. Whether it comes from food or from exposure to sunlight, vitamin D can not be utilized by the body until the liver and then kidneys have processed it into a usable form.

Vitamin D has been shown to aid in the reduction of cancer, regulate mood, reduce inflammation, supress autoimmune disease, and boost the immune system.

There is concern that people who suffer from cardiovascular events in the winter time may be low in vitamin D, and when levels are below 34ng/ml the risk of cardiovascular disease has been shown to be twice as high. Vitamin D may also be beneficial in reducing high blood pressure as well.

In type 2 diabetes, managing vitamin D levels can improve insulin sensitivity by 21%. If you compare that to metformin, which only raises insulin sensitivity by 13%, vitamin D seems like the better and safer option.

Other conditions that may benefit from optimal levels of vitamin D are:

Multiple Sclerosis
Enhance Insulin and Leptin Sensitivity
Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes
Migraine Headaches
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Musculoskeletal Pain
Autoimmune and Inflammatory Conditions
Cancer Prevention and Treatment

The optimal level for a healthy adult is between 50-80 ng/mL
A blood test to determine your level of Vitamin D $39.00.

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