Are You Vitamin D Deficient?
Winter limits sun exposure for many up to six months of the year. Vitamin D is made in your skin from exposure to sunlight. It has become abundantly clear that vitamin D deficiency is a growing epidemic across the world and could be contributing to literally hundreds of common health problems. In fact, correcting your vitamin D deficiency may cut your risk of dying from any cause by 50 percent, according to one analysis. If this sounds too incredible to be true, consider that vitamin D influences nearly 3,000 of your 24,000 genes. This occurs via vitamin D receptors, which can be found throughout your body.
How Does Vitamin D Affect Your Immunity?
One example of an important gene that vitamin D up-regulates is your ability to fight infections and chronic inflammation. It also produces over 200 anti-microbial peptides, the most important of which is cathelicidin, a naturally-occurring broad-spectrum natural antibiotic. This is one of the explanations for why adequate vitamin D is so effective against colds and influenza. Vitamin D also improves the absorption of calcium from your food. Calcium is needed to run the “calcium pumps” that move white blood cells out of blood vessels into your tissues during an infection. Research studies have also shown that vitamin D can improve:
• Pregnancy outcomes (reduced risk of C-section and pre-eclampsia)
• Type 1 and 2 diabetes
• Heart disease and stroke
• Autism, Alzheimer’s, and other brain dysfunction
• Bacterial and viral infections
• Crohn’s Disease
• Breast cancer, Prostate cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Lung cancer and Skin cancer.
How Do You Maintain Enough Daily Vitamin D?
The best ways to get enough Vitamin D are:
• Sunlight (20/min daily, no sunscreen, and don’t wash the area with soap for 24 hours)
• Eating fish (especially salmon & tuna)
• Eating eggs (eat the yolk)
• Take Cod Liver oil daily (Grandma was right!)
• Use a daily Vitamin D3 supplement
• Avoid the processed vitamin D enriched foods like pasteurized milk and cereal products that have little nutritional value.