Monday, November 14, 2011

The Most Underrated And Most Important Vitamin - Vitamin D3

As a child growing up I thought I had a serious problem. As much I loved Siouxie and the Banshees and wore black I was never the depressed "dark" type. However, as soon as the late fall, early winter months started to approach I became lethargic, sleepy, sluggish, irritable, moody and my skin turned gray. Recently after moving back from LA to NYC as a true sun worshipper, I finally shed some light on the situation and I successfully diagnosed myself with SAD, seasonal affective disorder.
If you get depressed during the winter but feel much better springtime and during the summer, you may have SAD. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a situational mood disorder brought on by decreasing daylight in the winter months. High doses of vitamin D3 during these months have proven to be a very effective natural remedy for SAD.

The most underrated and the most important vitamin to take may well be vitamin D - vitamin D3 in particular. Technically, vitamin D is a hormone, but we call it a vitamin. Vitamin D is generated by our bodies when the sun's UVB rays hit our skin. 

After years of denying the health benefits of sunlight, conventional researchers are finally starting to recognize the important role that ultraviolet light plays in human health. Sunshine is the most natural way to get vitamin D. The vitamin D you get this way is easily used by your body, it is free, and you can combine it with exercise for a great bone building combo. For caucasian women who live where there is strong sunlight, about 15 to 20 minutes three times a week will usually produce enough vitamin D to keep you from being deficient. For some people, sunshine is difficult to come by. If you wear clothing that covers all of your skin, if you live in a northern or rainy climate, or if you are dark-skinned, you may have trouble getting enough sunshine to make adequate levels of vitamin D. 
Getting sunlight as research now shows, is extremely important for preventing and even reversing chronic diseases. I'm talking about prostate cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, mental depression, osteoporosis and even, to some extent, type 2 diabetes.

Vitamin D is also necessary for good bone health. It helps the body absorb calcium which we know is also good for bone health. Extreme deficiency in vitamin D can cause rickets which is the softening of the bones.
Vitamin D protects against cancer and increases immune functions. If you don't have enough vitamin D, you have increased inflammation and have a negative impact on cardiovascular health.
Vitamin D can be your good friend in menopause. Finding healthy ways to get enough may help you stay strong and prevent many age-related health problems. 

Some studies have shown that adults need 3000–5000 IU per day, and others indicate healthy adults can readily metabolize up to 10,000 IU vitamin D per day without harmful side effects. The European Union’s Scientific Committee on Food lists 2000 IU per day as the safety cut-off, as does the US Food and Nutrition Board. 

You should be aware that if you choose to take an oral Vitamin D supplement there are basically two types: one is natural and one is synthetic. The natural one is Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), which is the same Vitamin D your body makes when exposed to sunshine. The synthetic one is Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). Vitamin D3 is converted 500% faster than Vitamin D2, and is clearly a better alternative.

It may turn out that vitamin D3 is the key everyone’s been looking for, or more likely an important part of a far greater whole-health picture.

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