Researchers continue to prove the importance of vitamin D and adequate sun exposure as the perfect way to optimize the levels of this vitamin in the body.
During the winter, people should choose artificial UVB light, since UV ray exposure also offers health benefits above and beyond the production of vitamin D.
On the other hand, standard tanning beds are not a good option due to the magnetic ballasts. Moreover, the light bulbs do not raise the vitamin D levels.
Therefore, people who live in the northern hemisphere should try to consume this vitamin through their diet, and use artificial UVB light during the winter.
The UVB exposure from the sun or artificial light also stimulates the production of nitric oxide, which is a compound that reduces blood pressure.
Vitamin D is not actually a vitamin, but a powerful neuroregulatory steroidal hormone. Its deficiency leads to numerous health issues, and analysis has shown that by correcting it, one might reduce the risk of death from any cause by 50%.
It actually affects about 3,000 of your 24,000 genes, through the vitamin D receptors throughout your body.
For instance, it regulates the ability of the body to fight infections and chronic inflammation.
Moreover, it is helpful in the treatment of colds and flu, as it produces over 200 anti-microbial peptides, including cathelicidin, which is a naturally occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic.
As reported in the January 2013 press release by Orthomolecular Medicine, there are currently 33,800 medical papers with vitamin D in the title or abstract, which confirm the miraculous health benefits of vitamin D for the physical and mental health, including:
- Type 1 and 2 diabetes
- Autism, Alzheimer’s, and other brain dysfunction
- Heart disease and stroke
- Bacterial and viral infections
- Treats depression
- Pregnancy outcomes (lower risk of Cesarean section and pre-eclampsia)
- Soothes pain in diabetes
- Helps in the case of breast cancer
- Treats Crohn’s disease
Previous research has linked the reduced vitamin D levels with an increased risk of Crohn’s disease and by correcting the vitamin D deficiency one improves symptoms of the disease.
Yet, a recent study has found a “significant interaction between vitamin D levels and Crohn’s disease susceptibility, as well as a significant association between vitamin D levels and genotype.”
Research has shown that serum vitamin D levels were significantly lower in patients with Crohn’s disease, and 2 of the 7 DNA sequence variations showed a strong link between vitamin D levels and Crohn’s, and 4 variants were linked to vitamin D levels among controls.
This means that vitamin D can affect genetic expression linked to Crohn’s disease, its levels affects the severity of the symptoms.
Moreover, researchers have found vitamin D supplementation to reduce both depression and pain in diabetic women. According to PsychCentral:
“The investigators set out to determine how vitamin D supplementation might affect women with type 2 diabetes who were also suffering from depression.
At the beginning of the study, 61 percent of women reported neuropathic pain, such as shooting or burning pain in their legs and feet, and 74 percent had sensory pain, such as numbness and tingling in their hands, fingers, and legs.
During the course of the study, the participants took a 50,000 IU vitamin D2 supplement every week for 6 months. By the end of the study, the women’s depression levels had significantly improved following the supplementation.
Furthermore, participants who suffered from neuropathic and/or sensory pain at the beginning of the study reported that these symptoms decreased at 3 and 6 months following vitamin D2 supplementation.”
The lead researcher Todd Doyle, Ph.D. claims that vitamin D supplementation “is a promising treatment for both pain and depression in type 2 diabetes.”
Yet, previous research suggests vitamin D2 might do more harm than good in the long term, so we would advise you to use vitamin D3.
Doctors prescribe Drisdol, which is a synthetic form of vitamin D2, and not D3, the type produced by your body in response to the sun or safe tanning bed exposure.
The findings of a 2012 meta-analysis done by the Cochrane Database, which evaluated the mortality rates for 94,000 participants divided into two groups, those who supplemented their diets with D2 versus, and those who took D3, show that there are great differences.
These are the result of the analysis of 50 randomized controlled trials:
- A 6 percent relative risk reduction among those who used vitamin D3
- A 2 percent relative risk increase among those who used D2
This shows that vitamin D can be of great help in the management of type 2 diabetes and its side effects.
Also, 60 percent of type 2 diabetics lack vitamin D. A year ago, researchers found “a strong additive interaction between abdominal obesity and insufficient 25(OH)D in regard to insulin resistance.”
Additionally, they maintain that 47 percent of the cases of increased risk of insulin resistance are due to the interaction between insufficient vitamin D levels and a high body mass index (BMI).
Diabetes Care published another study which indicates that vitamin D supplements may help prevent type 2 diabetes mellitus in people with pre-diabetes. Researchers found that the participants with the highest vitamin D levels had a 30 percent lower risk of developing diabetes.
Furthermore, a recent Science World Report reported the recommendation by British breast cancer surgeon, Professor Kefah Mokbel, who believes women should take daily vitamin D supplements to lower their breast cancer risk:
“Prof. Mokbel has also requested Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, to make [vitamin D] pills freely available as this would result in saving about a 1,000 lives annually.
‘I am calling for all women from the age of 20 to be given free vitamin D supplements on the NHS because it is effective in protecting against breast cancer.’
…[R]esearch conducted by the Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska, which analyzed menopausal women from rural eastern Nebraska for over four years, revealed that taking vitamin D supplements along with calcium cut about 60 percent risk of cancer, including breast, lung and colon cancer…
’It’s inexpensive, it’s safe, and it’s easy to take. It’s something that should be considered by a lot of people,’ says Joan Lappe, professor of nursing and medicine at Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska. ‘It’s low-risk with maybe a payoff.’”
A growing number of studies indicate that vitamin D is a potent way to prevent various cancer types, including breast, pancreatic, skin, lung, ovarian, and prostate skin cancers.
About 200 epidemiological studies have confirmed the theories which relate vitamin D deficiency to cancer, and its physiological basis stems have been found in more than 2,500 laboratory trials.
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine published a 2007 study which found that a serum 25(OH)D level of more than 33 ng/mL was linked to a 50 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer.
The International Journal of Cancer published a study which discovered that a mere 10 ng/ml increase in serum vitamin D levels was related to a 15 percent reduction in colorectal cancer incidence and 11 percent reduction in breast cancer incidence.
Additionally, according to a 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which lasted for 4 years, cancer-free survival was 77 percent higher in women who received 1,100 IU vitamin D and 1,450 mg calcium daily, compared to participants who received either a placebo or calcium by itself.
Carole Baggerly, the founder of GrassrootsHealth, claims that 90 percent of ordinary breast cancer might be a result of vitamin D deficiency, and this cancer type has also been depicted as “vitamin D deficiency syndrome.”
The maintenance of a therapeutically beneficial serum level is of the highest importance.
Scientists have found that the bare minimum for cancer prevention is around 40 ng/ml, and the ideal level might be around 60-80 ng/ml. According to a 2009 review article titled “Vitamin D for Cancer Prevention: Global Perspective,” published in Annals of Epidemiology:
“Higher serum levels of the main circulating form of vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), are associated with substantially lower incidence rates of colon, breast, ovarian, renal, pancreatic, aggressive prostate and other cancers.
Epidemiological findings combined with newly discovered mechanisms suggest a new model of cancer etiology that accounts for these actions of 25(OH)D and calcium.
Its seven phases are disjunction, initiation, natural selection, overgrowth, metastasis, involution, and transition (abbreviated DINOMIT). Vitamin D metabolites prevent disjunction of cells and are beneficial in other phases.
It is projected that raising the minimum year-around serum 25(OH)D level to 40 to 60 ng/mL (100–150 nmol/L) would prevent approximately 58,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of colorectal cancer each year, and three fourths of deaths from these diseases in the United States and Canada, based on observational studies combined with a randomized trial.
Such intakes also are expected to reduce case-fatality rates of patients who have breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer by half… The time has arrived for nationally coordinated action to substantially increase intake of vitamin D and calcium.”
GrassrootsHealth suggests that the daily dose of 8,000 IUs is enough for adults to achieve a serum level of 40 ng/ml. Hence, make sure you always get the appropriate sun exposure, take vitamin D supplement, and boost the intake of vitamin K2.
Also, make sure you check your vitamin D serum levels every 6 months, in August and February, and maintain a clinically relevant serum level of 50-70 ng/ml.
Vitamin D and Disease Prevention
Studies showed that vitamin D is essential in disease prevention and maintaining optimal health, as it affects even 3,000 of the 30,000 genes in your body.
If you maintain its optimized levels in the body, you will be able to lower the risk of cancer by 60 percent and prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including skin, breast, pancreatic, ovarian, prostate, and lung cancers, as well as numerous other severe health issues and diseases.