Posts Tagged Vitamin D3

Link Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Dementia Confirmed

via: Mercola.com
Dr. Mercola

Vitamin D has been shown to improve a number of brain disorders, including dementia and its most severe form, Alzheimer’s disease,1 the latter of which now affects an estimated 5.2 million Americans.2

The latest mortality statistics places Alzheimer’s in the top three killer diseases in the US, right behind heart disease and cancer.3 Vitamin D deficiency is also rampant. Researchers estimate that half of the general population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency.

Among seniors, that estimate reaches as high as 95 percent. While certainly not the sole cause of dementia, evidence suggests vitamin D may be a very important factor for successful prevention.

A wide variety of brain tissue contains vitamin D receptors, and when they’re activated by vitamin D, it facilitates nerve growth in your brain. Researchers also believe that optimal vitamin D levels boosts levels of important brain chemicals, and protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of glial cells in nursing damaged neurons back to health.

Vitamin D may also exert some of its beneficial effects on your brain through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, which are well established.

‘Most Robust Study of Its Kind’ Confirms Link Between Low Vitamin D and Dementia

The link between low vitamin D and dementia has again been confirmed with the publication of a robust six-year long study4 conducted by an international team of researchers. As reported by Science Daily:5

“[S]tudy participants who were severely vitamin D deficient were more than twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease…

[A]dults in the study who were moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53 percent increased risk of developing dementia of any kind, and the risk increased to 125 percent in those who were severely deficient.

Similar results were recorded for Alzheimer’s disease, with the moderately deficient group 69 percent more likely to develop this type of dementia, jumping to a 122 percent increased risk for those severely deficient.”

The authors concluded that: “Our results confirm that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease. This adds to the ongoing debate about the role of vitamin D in nonskeletal conditions.”

The findings also suggest there’s a threshold level of circulating vitamin D, below which your risk for dementia increases. This threshold was found to be right around 50 nmol/L, or 20 ng/ml. Higher levels were associated with good brain health.

Based on previous research, I believe 20 ng/ml is still too low, and potentially dangerously so… When it comes to vitamin D, you really want to be in the optimal or clinically relevant range, and as the years have gone by, researchers have progressively moved that target range upward.

At present, based on the evaluation of healthy populations that get plenty of natural sun exposure, the optimal range for general health appears to be somewhere between 50 and 70 ng/ml, or 125-175 nmol/L—a far cry from the threshold suggested in this study.

vitamin d levels
References for target ranges

Sun Exposure Is the Ideal Way to Optimize Your Vitamin D Level

I believe sensible sun exposure is the ideal way to optimize your vitamin D levels. As a general rule, you’ll want to expose large amounts of bare skin to the sun until it turns the lightest shade of pink, if you’re light-skinned.

This typically occurs in about half the time it would normally take you to burn. So if you know you tend to get sunburned after 30 minutes, you’d want to stay in the sun for about 15 minutes.

Those with darker skin may need to pay closer attention to notice when this slight reddening occurs. It’s really impossible to give any firm recommendations for how long you need to stay in the sun to optimize vitamin D production, as it varies greatly depending on a number of factors, such as:

Antioxidant levels and diet in general Age
Skin color and/or current tan level Use of sunscreen
Latitude and altitude (elevation) Cloud cover and pollution
Ozone layer Surface reflection
Season Time of day
Weight Altitude

Other Alternatives: UVB emitting lights or Supplements

Your second-best option would be to use lights that emit UVB.

If your circumstances prevent either of these strategies, then you’re left with taking a vitamin D supplement. GrassrootsHealth has a helpful chart showing the average adult dose required to reach healthy vitamin D levels based upon your measured starting point. Many experts agree that 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight could be used as an estimate for your ideal dose.

Be sure to take vitamin D3—not synthetic D2—and take vitamin K2 in conjunction with it. The biological role of vitamin K2 is to help move calcium into the proper areas in your body, and without sufficient amounts, calcium may build up in areas such as your arteries and soft tissues.

This can cause calcification that can lead to hardening of your arteries—a side effect previously thought to be caused by vitamin D toxicity. We now know that inappropriate calcification is actually due more to lack of K2 than simply too much vitamin D.

Magnesium Is Also Important for Vitamin D Activity

Magnesium is another important player—both for the proper function of calcium, and for the activity of vitamin D, as it converts vitamin D into its active form. Magnesium also activates enzyme activity that helps your body use the vitamin D. In fact, all enzymes that metabolize vitamin D require magnesium to work. Magnesium also appears to play a role in vitamin D’s immune-boosting effects. As noted by magnesium expert Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, ND:6

“The effectiveness and benefits of vitamin D are greatly undermined in the absence of adequate levels of magnesium in the body. Magnesium acts with and is essential to the activity of vitamin D, and yet most Americans do not get their recommended daily allowance (RDA) of this important mineral.”

As with vitamin D and K2, magnesium deficiency is also common, and if you’re lacking in magnesium and take supplemental calcium, you may exacerbate the situation. Vitamin K2, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D all work in tandem with each other, which is why it’s important to pay attention to their ratios. Vitamin A, zinc, and boron are other important cofactors that interact with vitamin D, and indeed, zinc deficiency has also been identified as a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s disease.

When taking supplements, it can be easy to create lopsided ratios, so getting these nutrients from an organic whole food diet and sensible sun exposure is generally your best bet. Dietary sources of magnesium include sea vegetables, such as kelp, dulse, and nori. Vegetables can also be a good source. As for supplements, magnesium citrate and magnesium threonate are among the best.

Continue Reading At: DrMercola.com

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Everything We Know About Treating Depression Is Wrong

via: KellyBrogan
October 21, 2014

A few years ago it was related to me by a close friend that she had been depressed for quite some time.  She could not figure out what was prompting her state of being.

It just so happened that she opted to spend the summer back in her country in Europe, and one of the things she chose to do often was be outside and enjoy the sun.  Soon thereafter she found herself feeling livelier with every new day as she spent more and more time in the sun.

She then figured out that her Vitamin D levels were low, which is one deficiency that will cause depression.  Lo and behold, by being able to figure that out, she did not have to take medication [that has countless side effects] for a malady that was solved by in such a simple manner.

Vitamin D’s importance and the deficiencies is oft-overlooked by mainstream doctors. Not only does Vitamin D deficiency cause depression, but it also has been linked to cause pain, inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.

The video by Dr. Kelly Brogan M.D. below relates how everything that we know about depression is flawed.  Its a short video and well worth the watch.

In the age in which prescriptions are being dolled out at the tune of 4 Billion a year [about 13 medications for every person in America] its good not only to learn more about whatever possible dis-ease/imbalance might be causing your health issues, but also that often what can be done is correct nutritional imbalances rather than take toxic medications.

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Scientists Draw Link Between Vitamin D and Breast Cancer, Reducing Risk by 24%

via: NaturalSociety
by: Elizabeth Renter
August 7, 2012

Scientists have found a promising link between vitamin D and breast cancer, with the vitamin shown to reduce breast cancer risk. However, they say their findings only apply to vitamin D in supplement form, according to Reuters.

Link Shown Between Vitamin D and Breast Cancer Risk Reduction

Researchers found that women who consumed vitamin D in a pill had a 24 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer. But those who got their vitamin D in their food didn’t see the same results. While they don’t say why they think this is, it could be because those using supplements are simply getting more of the vitamin on a daily basis.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at 3,101 breast cancer patients and 3,471 health women, analyzing their diet and supplementation habits. There was no link established between dietary vitamin D consumption (or calcium consumption) and breast cancer. The link was only obvious in women taking more than 400 IU (international units) of vitamin D every day.

The researchers say more work is needed to determine exactly how much vitamin D is needed and to determine how it works. However, we do know that breast tissue cells have receptors for vitamin D, “raising the possibility that the nutrient could help regulate the division and proliferation of these cells.” And while the researchers don’t draw a connection between vitamin D and breast cancer when the vitamin comes from food sources, including the vitamin in a diet for breast cancer patients via foods naturally rich in vitamin D in addition to supplementation will only boost prevention.

Interestingly, the research gives no attention to getting vitamin D from the sun. It’s estimated that the body of the average light-skinned person creates about 20,000 IU of vitamin D3 (the most concentrated form) after one 30-minute, total body exposure to the summer sun at noon. In a darker skin person, the amount of D3 produced is about 10,000 IU.

You don’t need to sunbathe for hours to accumulate vitamin D, but getting outside for some sunshine during the day will increase the body’s natural creation of vitamin D, providing a wealth of vitamin D health benefits that could even reduce your risk of cancer.

Additional Sources:

HSPH.Harvard.edu

Reuters

Read More At: NaturalSociety.com

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Vitamin D Increases Muscle Power in Young Girls

via: NaturalSociety
by: Elizabeth Renter
July 29, 2012

A vitamin D deficiency has been linked to everything from osteoporosis to cardiovascular disease. A study out of England shows that it is also linked to a lack of muscle power, according to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

In the study, adolescent inner city girls were tested for vitamin D levels. Seventy-five percent of them were found to have low levels of the vitamin, though none had visible, physical symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.

The girls were tested in a serious of exercises called “jumping mechanography,” which measures the power and force behind jumping movements. Those test subjects without vitamin D deficiency performed much better on the analysis.

“These data highlight the importance of vitamin D status on muscle function in adolescent girls. Sub-optimal force might have implications for long-term bone development,” according to the researchers.

While the study focused specifically on young girls, the results could very likely be replicated in young men alike. Women, however, are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis later in life.

Most people are able to get sufficient vitamin D from the sun, but most people are still deficient. This could be because they don’t spend enough time outdoors, don’t live in a climate where sunshine is frequent, or because they stay covered or out of the sun when outside.

Supplements are another option for increasing vitamin D in the body as well, with vitamin D3 being the most effective and safest form (also produced by direct sunlight.) Also, it occurs naturally in salmon, tuna, and fortified milk and cereals.

Another point of interest from this particular study is that they chose subjects who were more likely to come from poverty – showing that there is a chance that the study subjects were deficient in other nutrients because of this. This may have also played a role in the results of their strength and power measurements.

This fact highlights an important issue: that those of us without money for and access to healthy foods suffer in a multitude of ways, even from an early age.

Additional Sources:

JCEM.EndoJournals

NutraIngredients

Read More At: NaturalSociety.com

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Vitamin D revealed to be miracle anti-cancer ‘drug’ with astonishing chemical properties

via: NaturalNews
Thursday, July 26, 2012
By: Willow Tohi

[NaturalNews] A new study published this month finds that the hormonally active form of vitamin D, Calcitriol 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3), inhibits the growth of many kinds of cancerous cells, including breast cancer, indicating that vitamin D3 can be useful in treating and even preventing a variety of cancers. Authors of the study said that caner cell growth is inhibited by “anticancer actions including cell cycle arrest, promotion of apoptosis and inhibition of invasion, metastasis, and angiogenesis.” Vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory properties and interference with estrogen synthesis further explains its anti-tumor properties.

Two studies from 2007 used meta-analysis, which combines data from multiple reports, to find that therapeutic doses of vitamin D could prevent up to half of all cases of breast cancer, and two-thirds of all cases of colorectal cancer in the United States. The studies showed a direct correlation between blood levels of vitamin D and cancer. Those with the highest blood levels were found to be at the lowest risk, and the lowest blood levels at the highest risk.

Many sources still try to cast a shadow on the effectiveness of vitamin D, citing that a specific dose strength has not yet been established, and needs more research. It likely won’t be narrowed down to a one-size-fits-all dose, because every body is different, and if it were, it wouldn’t be as effective. One other thing that may be giving varied results regarding dosing is the source of vitamin D used – it varies from study to study. Typically, higher doses are required of synthetic sources to increase blood levels, and they don’t generally have the same effect as natural sources.

Vitamin D facts

The “sunshine” vitamin, vitamin D is fat-soluble vitamin required for the absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorous. It protects against muscle weakness, regulates heartbeat, is necessary for normal blood clotting and thyroid function, and regulates more than 2,000 genes, affecting the proliferation and death of cells.

Vitamin D comes in several forms. The kind that comes from food is D2. There is a synthetic form, D5. The most active is the most natural kind, D3. It is synthesized in the skin in response to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. There is a cholesterol compound in the skin that is a precursor of vitamin D. The D we get from food and supplements is not fully active until it goes through the liver and kidneys, where it is converted, then it circulates through the blood like a hormone.

According to Bach, problems from deficiency may include: heart disease, birth defects, depression, hypertension, stroke, dementia, fibromyalgia, impaired bone mineralization, skin, breast, prostate and other cancers, multiple sclerosis, insomnia, eye problems, problems with pregnancy, and other chronic diseases. It is estimated that more than one billion people worldwide, and 77 percent of Americans, are deficient in vitamin D.

It is not possible for most people to consume enough vitamin D thorough diet alone. It is found in fatty saltwater fish and fish liver oils, such as halibut, salmon, sardines, and cod liver oil. It is also added (fortified) to diary and eggs, so you’ll find it in things like milk, yogurt, and butter. Other foods that have vitamin D include dandelion greens, oatmeal, cereals, and sweet potatoes.

Having a healthy and balanced diet can prevent cancer, and the need for prescriptions that contribute to cancer, such as cholesterol reducing drugs that inhibit vitamin D absorption from the sun. Even the National Cancer Institute estimates that 80 percent of cancer cases could be prevented. Most people supplement to get enough vitamin D. The recommended doses are generally not enough to address health problems. Be sure your supplements come from whole food vitamins so that higher doses won’t be detrimental to your health, as they might from synthetic vitamin sources.

Eating good food, limiting unhealthy food and substances, getting exercise, and soaking up a bit of sun are critical to happiness and lasting health. So get out there and have fun – and help prevent cancer while you’re at it!

Sources for this article include:

http://www.foodconsumer.org

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070206100608.htm

Balch, Phyllis, CNC. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. p. 21.

http://www.naturalnews.com/035063_vitamin_D_cancer_facts.html

Continue Reading At: NaturalNews.com

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Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis with Vitamin D

via: NaturalSociety
by: Elizabeth Renter
July 23, 2012

It’s believed that up to 350,000 people in the United States have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Each week, around 200 new cases are diagnosed. But scientists may have found an easy solution to help in the prevention of this disastrous disease. Luckily, overcoming multiple sclerosis may be as easy as soaking up some sun.

Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis with a Vitamin

MS is an autoimmune disease; it affects the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. While symptoms vary widely from person to person, many people with MS suffer from muscle weakness, spasms, and cramping, problems walking, speech difficulties, hearing and vision loss, memory loss, pain, and depression.

A group of Canadian and British scientists have found hope for people who have yet to be diagnosed in the form of vitamin D. This vitamin— obtained naturally through the sun, through fortified food and supplements— is said to affect the gene that increases MS risk, ultimately helping individuals in overcoming multiple sclerosis.

This isn’t the first time vitamin D and multiple sclerosis have been linked. And because there is no clear cause of the disease—medical professionals, scientists, and patients alike will take any new revelations as progress.

A gene variant, known as DRB1*1501, significantly increases your chances of developing MS. According to the BBC:

“While one in 1,000 people in the UK is likely to develop MS, this number rises to around one in 300 among those carrying a single copy of the gene variant – known as DRB1*1501 – and one in 100 of those carrying two copies.”

Vitamin D activates proteins in the body. These proteins are found to bind to a DNA sequence next to the gene, changing how it functions.

The study indicates that vitamin D may be key to overcoming multiple sclerosis, as the vitamin deficiency could lead to multiple sclerosis.

So, how can you increase vitamin D consumption?

  • Get some sun every day. Remember to go outside while the sun is strongest, and don’t shower after bathing in the sun as the vitamin D will essentially wash off.
  • Eat salmon. (Salmon is the richest natural food-source of vitamin D)
  • Take a supplement if you don’t think you are getting enough through your diet and sun exposure.

Additional Sources:

BBC

eMedTV

PubMed Health

TheDailyGreen.com

Read More At: NaturalSociety.com

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Easy, natural ways to reduce skin cancer risk

via: NaturalNews
Friday, July 20, 2012
By: PF Louis

[NaturalNews] “All skin cancer is the result of damage to skin cells,” says Lise Alschuler, ND, author of Five to Thrive: Your Cutting-Edge Cancer Prevention Plan.

Skin cell damage is caused by oxidative stress from free radicals, which manifests as sunburn. It’s the same process that causes metals to rust and apples to brown. Although oxidation cannot be completely avoided, oxidation must be minimized to avoid free radical damage.

Oxidative stress is both the cause and the consequence of disease. Contrary to what allopathic dermatologists recommend, a daily, moderate dose of sun without sunscreen is actually beneficial for the skin.

Bare skin exposed to direct sunshine boosts vitamin D3 production in your body, but it should be moderate. 20 minutes; three or four times a week during peak sunlight hours is sufficient for most vitamin D3 requirements. Then there are supplements that can be added as well.

Antioxidants are the key to reducing oxidative stress. Molecules with missing electrons are called oxidants; whose primary activity is replacing their missing electron by stealing an electron from another molecule. This, in turn, causes a molecular domino effect of oxidative stress that can lead to disease.

The magic of antioxidants is the well researched fact that they can donate an electron to an oxidant without in turn becoming a free radical. Antioxidants stop the cascading free radical effect and reduce free radical damage.

Minimizing free radical damage to skin cells can be boosted by the right diet. Eating lots of fresh, organic plant-based foods is the key. Plants thrive on sunlight while using their own flavonoids to protect them from excess oxidation. You can borrow those flavonoids by eating plants.

Other internal nutrients for your skin

A high quality multivitamin with the full spectrum of vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), mixed cartenoids and zinc would be helpful for maintaining healthy skin as well as, ironically, vitamin D3 supplements.

Good fats are important. Skin cells contain fats. Avoid processed trans-fatty oils and use cold pressed virgin olive or coconut oils for salads and cooking. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for the full spectrum of health issues. Chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and uncontaminated fish oils are good sources of omega-3.

Continue Reading At: NaturalNews.com

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