We’ve been hearing left, right, and center that we should all be taking more Vitamin D – that it may indeed be the panacea of all ills. Until I started talking to our brilliant health expert, Dr John Douillard, I wasnt’ quite sure what to make of the whole thing – I mean living here in sunny Southern CA, surely I was getting enough Vitamin D from just walking around in the sun most of the year. As it turns out, I wasn’t getting enough at all. After doing a blood test, which Dr Douillard recommended, I was pretty shocked at the results and have stepped up my intake considerably as a result. I asked Dr Douillard to write us a guest blog explaining the why’s and wherefore’s of this valuable vitamin – here you go:
As we begin our journey toward perfect health, it is extremely important that we start with a full tank of gas. No gas, no go! There are three deficiencies that I have reported on in my Health Reports called, “Deficiencies That Effect Half the World’s Population. Today I want to address the most important deficiency that made the national news recently and currently affects up to 87% of Americans, the Vitamin D Deficiency. A good lifestyle, great food, lots of yoga and meditation won’t help you feel better if the cause is a nutritional deficiency.
In the past 10 years, researchers began comparing the rate of chronic disease with folks living near the equator and those living in the northern hemisphere. People in the north were more depressed, experienced more heart attacks, diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, cancers, auto immune diseases and compromised immunity compared to those living at the equator.
Vitamin D levels for folks living near the equator were higher than those in the north – much higher. The normal range for Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is between 30 -100ng/ml. In the winter, 87% of northerners (basically all of the US) were deficient in Vitamin D with levels below 30ng/ml. Folks living near the equator regularly had Vitamin D levels above 50ng/ml, which experts believe to be the optimal range. Top researchers from around the world began to investigate this phenomenon. Ten years later, thousands of studies have been done proving again and again that Vitamin D at higher levels has a global effect on the health of the human body.
When your Vitamin D levels are between 30 – 40ng/ml it acts like a vitamin and supports bone density issues and deficiency diseases like rickets. Above 40ng/ml, and more noticeably between 50 – 80ng/ml, something magical happens. The Vitamin D starts acting like a hormone. In fact Vitamin D is the most powerful steroid hormone in the body. At lower levels it doesn’t function like a hormone, the main benefit is only bone support.
At optimal levels, numerous studies indicate that Vitamin D protects the body from 50 -60% of all cancers, preventing more than 2000 genes from expressing negative genetic tendencies. So if you are low in Vitamin D and genetically predisposed to diabetes, MS, breast cancer or an auto-immune disease you are more likely to get it.
According to John Cannels M.D., the executive director of the Vitamin D Council, Vitamin D supports the health of….are you ready? the heart, brain, breasts, prostate, pancreas, muscles, nerves, eyes, immune system, colon, liver, mood, skin, and especially fetal health. And this is the short list!
Basically, if you take any living organism out of the sun for any extended period of time, they wither and die. We have done a bang up job avoiding the sun for the past 100 years. Houses, cars, offices and perhaps worst of all – sunscreens have starved us from the life giving rays of the sun.
For the past 25 years, sunscreens were measured with SPF factors on how well they blocked the UVB rays. It was believed that UVB rays caused skin cancer. Oops, they were wrong. It is the UVA rays that cause skin cancer. So, for 25 years sunscreens have been blocking the wrong ray. In fact it’s the UVB rays that make Vitamin D, which in turn protects against skin cancer. So as skin cancer rates have sky rocketed, SPF factors climbed higher and higher trying to reverse the increase in rates of skin cancer. Just last year, it was discovered that for all these years we were blocking the good UVB rays and letting in the dangerous and harmful skin cancer causing UVA rays. It is only now in the last year that we see sun screens which block both UVA and UVB radiation.
Now, even the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) suggests that everyone get 15 minutes of direct mid day sunshine during the summer several times a week to support Vitamin D levels. Sadly, this isn’t enough. If your levels are below 20ng/ml, which is where about 60% – 70% of the patients I test lie, you will need a boosting dose to get to the optimal levels and definitely need supplementation to keep you there.
In the case of Vitamin D, the right amount is essential to get these amazing health benefits. If is too low it doesn’t work, if it is too high for an extended period of time this is also not good. Best thing to do is have your levels tested. If you don’t have insurance or it is a hassle to go to the doctor for a test, I carry a Home Vitamin D Test Kit which is about half the price of a lab test and no doctors visit fee. You simply prick yourself, mail in your sample, and I will send you the results and a prescription of exactly how much Vitamin D you need to optimize your levels and receive the protective benefits of Vitamin D. If you already have a Vitamin D test result, check my website where I list the proper dosages for winter and summer to optimize your Vitamin D levels.
After years of waiting, on Tuesday, November 30th last year, a government report about Vitamin D was released from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) who make the RDA recommendations to the FDA. It is inconceivable to me that they would completely ignore 10 years of research and thousands of studies from the top researchers around the world which prove the NUMEROUS health benefits of Vitamin D. Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence, they state that Vitamin D is beneficial ONLY for bone density issues – incredible!
Their new recommended dosages are based on only what is needed for bone health and not accurate when considering the general health benefits of Vitamin D that have been reported for the past ten years. Amazingly, they suggest that an infant requires the exact same amount as a 300 pound adult! It is sad to say, but it seems our government is not a completely reliable source for health advice. We must take responsibility for our own health! Please see my full rebuttal to this report.
That being said, the dosages I suggest still meet the new “acceptable levels” of Vitamin D according to the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB).
The Good News!
After a year of research, I have sourced my own LifeSpa Liquid Sun Vitamin D supplement, which is fish-free, easy to digest, tastes like water and is quickly and efficiently absorbed. One bottle includes a year’s supply to maintain optimal Vitamin D levels.