Vitamin D, Function of Vitamin D in the Body. Are YOU getting enough?
Our bodies manufacture vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is also present in some foods, although only a few contain significant amounts.
Among the benefits of Vitamin D are:
Even with all the medical advances made in recent years, its crazy to consider that vitamin D deficiency still exists - and in epidemic proportions.
It has been recently reported in our Television News that researchers were surprised to find that 30% of New Zealand children have insufficient levels of vitamin D!
Research has also shown vitamin D to be the most deficient vitamin in all people in the United States. Individuals who have limited exposure to sunlight are at risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency. The ability of the skin and the kidneys to convert vitamin D to it's active form also decreases as we age. Therefore while we know that many of our children have a problem with not enough Vitamin D, many older people or those with limited exposure to sunlight may need vitamin D from a supplement.
Function of Vitamin D in the Body
What is Vitamin D?
Unlike any other vitamin, vitamin D is actually a prehormone; it is your body’s only source of a potent natural steroid hormone called calcitriol.
Calcitriol is a very potent steroid hormone in the human body. Like all steroid hormones, calcitriol works by turning your genes on and off. It signals your genes to make hundreds of enzymes and proteins crucial to maintaining health and fighting disease.
All this happens if, and only if, you get enough vitamin D (from sunshine on your skin, without sunblock) or from supplements.
Sunshine and Melanoma
Malignant melanoma is less common in outdoor workers than indoor ones.
BBC News recently reported:
“Contrary to popular belief, exposing skin to the sun may stop certain cancers from growing, including skin cancer.
…Two studies propose the reduced cancer risk stems from an increased production of vitamin D made by sun-exposed skin…
…The two studies found:
…Sunshine helped beat the deadly skin cancer malignant melanoma: Patients with increased levels of sun exposure were less likely to die than other melanoma patients; also patients who already had melanoma and a lot of sun exposure were prone to a less aggressive tumour type.
The sun helped with bib-Hodgkin Lymphoma: The risks of developing cancer was reduced by 30 percent to 40 percent when exposed to UV rays from the sun and sun lamps; findings were based on interviews with more than 3,000 lymphoma patients and 3,000 healthy members of the public.
Sunblock and Melanoma
Evidence to date does not show regular sunscreen use reduces it’s incidence.
Sunblock may have contributed to the rising incidence of malignant melanoma by allowing users to stay in the sun for hours without burning, while their skin soaked up the highly penetrating UVA radiation.
Instead of being caused by chronic sun-exposure, malignant melanoma is a multifactorial disease, the sun-exposure component of which appears to be best explained by repeated intermittent intense exposure (sunburn) in a population that usually avoids the sun.
Conditions resulting from or relating to Vitamin D deficiency:
There are many different types of vitamin D3 on the market. One of the vitamin D3 products that we source from Premier Research Labs is a live-source vitamin D3.
This is a form that is highly bio-available and also very easy to use when we consider that recent studies propose that ideal vitamin D3 intake should be 1,000 IU or more daily - this is easily met by taking just one drop of this serum.
Apart from supplementation what else can I do?
Fifteen to twenty minutes of sunshine each day will help your body produce a healthy amount (approximately 10,000 to 15,000 IU's). Try to have up to 40% of your skin surface exposed - a bit difficult in the middle of a cold day,but you get the idea. This is of course of particular importance to anyone with bone loss conditions such as osteoporosis.
Morning sun is considered best and of course don't allow the skin to burn!
And for those going to the tanning clinics - may look OK, but tanning beds in general don't provide vitamin D3 which is the more active of the 2 forms of vitamin D.
Foods high in D3 include:
The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. Without vitamin D bones can become thin, brittle, soft or deformed.
Calcium is absorbed across the brush border of the enterocyte cell membrane by a mechanism that requires energy. Vitamin D is essential to this process, and when deficient, the active transport of calcium stops.