What if I told you that you could beat your winter blues, heal your pelvic floor, feel on top of your game and all you have to do is take a vitamin? You might be thinking this is too good to be true, but read on…
For the last couple of months, I’ve been feeling out of sorts. Getting out of bed at 6 am was becoming more difficult and on most days, I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster. I was a wreck and a ball of knot’s and nerves. I could feel myself getting anxious and I had this constant feeling of being overwhelmed. This feeling was not proportional to what was happening in my life. So it didn't make sense to me.
Being the hypochondriac that I am, I thought I was dying from some deadly illness. So I went to my natural doctor and said what the hell is going on with me. I’m losing my mind and I can’t remember things and I can’t concentrate on my work. My doctor ran a battery of blood tests and here’s what we found. I had a severe Vitamin D deficiency that was creating havoc in my life, emotions and on my immune system. A deficiency in Vitamin D is serious business and everyone should check themselves. So I decided to go deep into all things Vitamin D for my tribe and this blog is worth the read 🙂
Vitamin D Can Regulate Our Genes
75-90% of all Americans are suffering from Vitamin D deficiency. That's almost the whole country! Vitamin D is not like other vitamin, it has a very unique influence on our genes. Vitamin D has an epigenetic influence on the body, regulating up to 2,000 human genes or roughly 10 % of our genetic code. So if you want to control your gene expression take your Vitamin D and keep it at optimal levels.
A Reason To Lose Body Fat
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin stored in the liver and fatty tissues. Because Vitamin D stores itself in fatty tissues, a person with a high body fat percentage has less available Vitamin D to use. So to have better Vitamin D levels pay attention to your body fat composition and keep your body fat at an ideal level for your age and height.
Let The Sun In
Unlike other vitamins, our bodies can make Vitamin D on its own rather than relying on food source. Of course, the best source of Vitamin D is via safe sun exposure of your skin. If you live in tropics where the sun shines all the time chances are you have optimal levels of Vitamin D.
But what can northerners do? How can we get this vitamin when 4 to 6 months out of the year we cannot baste ourselves in safe sun exposure? The answer is you must supplement during the winter months. Most doctors agree that Vitamin D supplementation during the winter months is necessary for most Americans.
Vitamin D is the new panacea and regarded as the silver bullet to a healthier and younger you. But what type of Vitamin D and how much Vitamin D? Read more and you will find your answers.
Sunlight Is The Best Source of Vitamin D
You know that great feeling that you get when you are in the sun or laying on the beach. There’s a reason for that euphoria and its called Vitamin D. When it comes to producing vitamin D skin tone matters. If you are fair to medium skin tone most experts recommend getting about 10-15 minutes of direct sunlight without sunscreen. If you have dark skin you will need even more time in the sun up to 30-40 minutes. I cannot remember the last time I was in the sun for that long. So I got into trouble with my vitamin D levels.
Why Is Vitamin D So Good For Us
Vitamin D helps to rejuvenate aging eyes, helps prevent type two diabetes and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. For women, Vitamin D helps reduce the risk for a caesarian birth, enhances vulvar/vaginal health and improves fertility.
Vitamin D also protects against cancer, helps fight heart disease, and boosts our immune system. Vitamin D also helps with memory, concentration and hormonal regulation. You can see how very important this vitamin is.
Pelvic Floor, Bladder and The Vitamin D Connection
Insufficient Vitamin D status has been associated with various extraskeletal medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and preeclampsia. Insufficient Vitamin D profound effect on musculoskeletal health. Some studies have confirmed that lower levels of serum 25-(OH)D are associated with decreased postural stability and increased risk of falls. In addition, studies demonstrate a relationship between Vitamin D and muscle growth and function.
Vitamin D may affect muscle strength and muscle fiber size. Pelvic floor muscle weakness has been clinically observed in women with pelvic floor disorder (PFD) symptoms and thus may be impacted by insufficient serum Vitamin D.
The Vitamin D receptors have also been found in detrusor wall of the bladder thus its insufficient level may impact bladder function also. So If you have PFM dysfunction check to see if your vitamin D levels are optimal.
Test Your Vitamin D Levels Before You Supplement
Before supplementing with Vitamin D it’s important to measure your Vitamin D levels. The only way to measure this is to measure your blood serum Vitamin D levels. It is also important to check your Vitamin D levels from time to time to make sure you’re maintaining the optimal therapeutic level year-round. Have your doctor perform the test as it usually and see if it’s covered by your medical insurance.
Don't Be Fooled — Order the Correct Blood Test
There are two vitamin D tests — 1,25(OH)D and 25(OH)D. The correct test is 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D. This is the better marker of overall D status and is most strongly associated with overall health. It is important to note that you do don’t want to have an average level Vitamin D. You want to have Optimal Levels.
How to Interpret Your Own Vitamin D Blood Results. To get accurate information about your Vitamin D Levels get the 5-hydroxoyvitamin D test done, sometimes also called the 25(OH) D test.
What Your Vitamin D Levels (25 Hydroxy D) Are Telling You
< 50 ng/ML
Treat Cancer and Heart Disease
70 – 100 ng/ML
Ok, So How Much Vitamin D Should I Supplement With?
The recommended guidelines for Vitamin D have been a topic of debate for many years. Many holistic practitioners believe that the recommended American dosages for Vitamin D are way too low and recommendations should be increased.
The European Food Safety Authority has raised the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin D supplementations to levels far higher than the American guidelines. The European recommendations are listed below as well as the American recommendations so you can see the difference. For my personal health, I follow the European guidelines. You should check with your caregiver to see what works for you and of course test your blood for Vitamin D levels and supplement until you hit an optimal level.
Vitamin D Supplementation-European Guidelines
Adults 18 years or older = 4,000 IU/day
Children 11-17 years of age = 4,000 IU/day
Children 1-10 years of age = 2,000 IU/day
Infants less than 1year of age = 1,000 IU/day
Vitamin D Supplementation-American Guidelines
1 – 3 years: 600 IU
4 – 8 years: 600 IU
9 – 70 years: 600 IU
Adults over 70 years: 800 IU
Pregnancy and breastfeeding: 600 IU
What Kind of Vitamin D?
There are two types of supplemental vitamin D. Vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. The body prefers vitamin D3 because it is more absorbable and beneficial. A food-based vitamin D supplementation is ideal. Also, make sure your Vitamin D is organic and choose a reputable company. Pay attention to the food source that your vitamin D is coming from. It all matters when it comes to choosing a good vitamin D so consult an expert or your doctor.
So the next time you think you are suffering from the winter blues or feel out of sorts look no further than your Vitamin D levels for your answers. This vitamin is the solution for a good life.
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