Vitamin D, I Heart Thee.

Via on Dec 8, 2011

 

Update: Higher vitamin D levels in mothers during pregnancy could help babies become stronger: Low vitamin D status has been linked to reduced muscle strength in adults and children, but little is known about how variation in a mother’s status during pregnancy affects her child. (southampton.ac.uk)

Hey Bat,

Have you been hanging too much in your cave lately? Sweet vampire, have you been too afraid of the light?

If so, lean over, I’ve got a Dirty secret.


Amazing D

If the Sun and your Skin had a lovechild, it would have to be Vitamin D. It occurs naturally in the body when sunlight touches you gently with those bright fingers.

It has enormous benefits for your health. It is the single most powerful medicine that your body produces naturally and best of all, it’s free.

It is one of your strongest bodyguards against cancer because it slows down wild cell mutation. It prevents osteoporosis and other kinds of demineralization by helping your intestines absorb a greater quantity of calcium and other vital minerals.

Without vitamin D, you need not bother taking calcium or other vitamin supplements because your body just won’t get the idea.

Vitamin D also helps prevent and reverse diabetes and obesity. It strengthens your immune system, protects you from psoriasis, hypertension, rickets (children alert) and other bone and immune related maladies.


The not-so-D

You know your D-deposits are low when you experience sensitivity to light. Your eyes should be happy to greet the sunlight, not blink in terror or cry like they’ve never been outside before.

Thank God you’re not a celebrity so you don’t have to wear those thick, dark sunglasses that separate you from the rest of mortals and impede the vital D from entering your body. And if you are, thank God you still have the ability to take them off.

You also know that your D-love is cooling when your muscles and bones start to mysteriously hurt. What hit me yesterday and why can’t I remember? Acne and depression are other two little monsters that may show up in D’s absence.

Those of you with darker skin; who work or spend a lot of time indoors; and/or suffer from obesity are at a higher risk for D-deficiency. Watch the videos below to find out why.

To check your D-deposits, go take a D-test.


The Ways of D

So if you’re low on D (which is most likely), should you drug yourself daily with a supplement in order not to have to worry about, you know, being so hot into the Light?

Should you fill your toilet  – as some clever experts love to remark — with “expensive urine”?

The first and most natural answer is No. Your number one lover is the Sun. Love him back and you’ll be half way there.

Of course, it would also help if we didn’t live in cities; or far from the equator; or spent most of our days inside a building in order to make a living; or if our D-affair weren’t constantly betrayed by so many dark, 21st century troubles.

Consequently, the second answer would have to be Yes. Because in every great, human love story, there’s obstacles between the Sun and You.

Most of the time you are not getting all the vit-D you need, unless you’re reading this from your hammock in Ecuador and sipping coconut water by the beach (you lucky B).

Some nutrition authorities affirm that vitamin D can also be obtained from animal products. They are right to a certain extent, but in no way can you absorb enough D from flesh or body fluids and not nearly as much as from its Number One source, the Sun.

As a non-psycho-vegan, I’m fine with animal-D as long as it stays in the animal. Not so fine, of course, with all the other problems coming from animal products: cruelty, antibiotics, cholesterol, demineralization, heart disease, pollution, cancer, environmental damage, etc.  

So, considering the importance of this vitamin and how difficult it is to obtain it naturally on a daily basis for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike; I’d rather take a supplement – not to substitute my sun exposure, but to make up for what falls short of my ideal D.

They say: Dear Life, give me money, love and health. The way I see it, being sick is much worse than being poor or single, and though I’d trade money for freedom and coupleship for a good cause (but only if I had to), health is untradeable.

Health is the one thing that helps you live through and fully experience everything else. In health, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

I’d rather pee the extra D than have my body pee on me.

There is no need to go to the other extreme either: from zero D to wild, every-meal kind of D. It really depends on your circumstances and your levels.

You can take your dosage every other day. Or anytime when, for any reason, you’re low on Sunny Honey. Your body may not assimilate all the D you’re swallowing, but it will assimilate something.
And that something may not be a lot but it is definitely better than nothing.


A bite of D

The best way to take “fake” vitamin D is with a fatty meal. And by “fatty” I don’t mean the Cholesterol Trio of Death: Trans, Hydrogenated and/or Evil-Saturated; but healthier fatties (Omegas, Polyunsaturated and Happily-Saturated).

There are plenty: avocadoes, olives, nuts, cold-pressed vegetable oils, seeds – and Fish Oils for non-vegans though I don’t want to get kicked out of Veganism for mentioning this…

The recommended amounts vary depending on what side of the story you’re listening to: the Government’s version or the Health Warriors’ version.

To know just how much D you need, you’d have to take into consideration your current levels, as well as the recommended amounts.

Government says ‘little to nothing’ (200-400 IU – International Units a day), Health Revolution says ‘the more the better’ (2000-4000 IU a day). I’m with the Revolution.

As for the Sun’s version of D, let there be no interference. Do you touch other people through a screen or make love with your clothes on? Well, even if you do, know that D doesn’t penetrate through glass, walls or sunscreen. Get naked.


D friends & enemies

Like any hero, D has opponents. Mr. Gluten (my ex), is one of the main D inhibitors. Even if you don’t have Celiac disease, you might be allergic to gluten or not digest it properly and not be aware of it.

On the other hand, Mr. Magnesium (my current vita-love) helps pave D’s way into the body. Most people who are low on the D are also, coincidentally, low on Magnesium. So you might want to put the M next to the D, in that green smoothie of yours.


D-mindful resources

Here are some trustworthy resources to get your D-liciousness back on:

Whether you like Dr. Oz or not, the man is usually on healthy fire and at least half of what he says is crazy-true (six minutes, it won’t kill you):

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And if you have six more, another conspiracy (but interesting enough) take on D:

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More D-juice for the pale vampire:

You can download a copy of the D-report from Natural News here: http://www.naturalnews.com/rr-sunlight.html

Dr. Andrew Weil’s recommendations. Wise Man Alert: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02812/vitamin-d

Vitamin D is so cool it even has a Council: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/

Dr. Mercola may be controversial at times and may even exploit any chance to make you subscribe to every breath he takes, but he is also great at what he does and has a lot of useful information on the D-dilemma. Check out his D-story here (and of course, subscribe, for God’s sake): http://www.mercola.com/article/vitamin-d-resources.htm / And don’t tell him I said this but you can also watch his Vit-D sermon here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlXdegk2icA. I highly recommend this talk. 


One final D…

If you’re a recent convert to D-ism and need a little push to welcome D into your daily ritual, post this Note to Self on the bathroom mirror so it’s the first thing you see when you get up:

It’s D-day, Sunshine.
Ditch the cave.
Load on some Sunlight.
Misbehave.

You can even add a jazzy tune to it and do an improv in the shower (not that I do it). But if jazzing it is too much, just say it out loud a few times and I guarantee you that at least some sort of ridiculous blood will slowly start coming back to your lifeless cheeks.

(Photo: Doisneau via Tumblr)

 

Disclaimer: If you’re not human, please unread this article. And if you are and have anything to add to the matter, please drop your ink below, so we can all benefit together from a fuller D-experience.

 

About Andrea Balt

Co-Founder / Editor in Chief of Rebelle Society, Wellness Alchemist at Rebelle Wellness & Creativity Curator at Creative Rehab. Unfinished book with a love for greens, bikes and poetry; raised by wolves & adopted by people; not trying to make art but to Be Art. Holds a BA in Journalism & Mass Communication, an MFA in Creative Writing & a Holistic Health Coach degree from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition®. In her work she tries to reflect the wholeness of the human experience by combining Art & Health + Brains & Beauty + Darkness & Brilliance into a more alive, unabridged and unlimited edition of ourselves. She is also on a quest to reinstate Creativity as one of our essential Human Rights to (hopefully and soon) be included in the UN Declaration. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram and sign up for her Monthly Stroke of Renaissance.

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18 Responses to “Vitamin D, I Heart Thee.”

  1. This is huge! I know the year I moved from Colorado (300 days a year of sun!) to Vermont (hmmm…not so much) in the middle of winter it was like crawling into a deep hole physically & emotionally. Until my naturopath did D testing & put me on supplements! I am scrupulous about sunscreen in the summer, but try to get outside w/o anything in the sunniest part of the day each day this time of year. Definitely helps.

    • Andrea Balt Andréa Balt says:

      I don't wear much sunscreen. I try to not be in the summer sun at feverish hours. This is another issue. Skin cancer rates have increased in the past decade along with use of sunscreen. Apparently the chemicals in most sunscreens are more damaging to the skin when combined with evil rays, than no sunscreen at all… When I do wear sunscreen I look for the least chemicalized, most organic one possible. It's like they try to kill you everywhere you go. No sun, too much sunscreen, too little sunscreen. What's wrong with the world? :)

  2. skavinger1984 says:

    D-lightfully informative. Thanks!

  3. Guest says:

    I was constantly sick, tired, run down, pseudo depressed about 2 years ago when I was working a night shift job. After a particularly bad episode of bronchitis which went one for about 6 weeks, I cornered my osteopath and begged him. I had taken my flu shot, I do everything right… why am I sick! He took a Vitamin D level, just as you suggest, and guess what!

    2000 IUs a day. I've had only minor colds ever since, and my moods are really markedly improved.

    This vampire <3's you.

  4. Linda Lewis Linda V Lewis says:

    Vit. D is really important to Canadians! I have just discovered this after living here almost 20 years!

  5. [...] unless you move. Sunshine is a bonus because if say, exercise was a door to your health, then Vitamin D would be the key to unlock it. Get out of the cave, yo [...]

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  9. Tracy says:

    I grew up in New York where it is painfully gray for most of the Fall and Winter months- sometimes no sun for weeks! I suffered from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) in the winters. I used to claim that my family came from the Caribbean and the Mediterranean before that, so I simply was not made to function with so little sun. I relocated to sunny Florida in my early twenties and the difference was very pronounced. Thank God! For our most recent relocation, I couldn't seriously consider anywhere that wasn't usually sunny, so we're here in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California. :)
    I LOVE the sun and I'm in and around it often, though I am careful to use sunscreen whenever I will be out more than a half hour in direct sun b/c it is stronger than ever and skin cancer really is on the rise. As you know, my 40 yr old girlfriend just died from melanoma. I do sweat off quite a bit of it and don't reapply very much, so plenty of sunlight gets in, but I'm careful not to burn.
    As for whatever is in the sunscreen, I find that news and news about other pollutants distressing, but I also kind of believe that by exposure, we adapt. Just like exposure to germs helps boost the immune system of most healthy people, I hope that it is the same with the exposure to all the new things in our environment. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it, lest I crawl into an underground cave.
    Mind you, even with all of my sun exposure, I still use a joint supplement that contains an additional 2000 IU's per day. I'm not sure how much gets in, but it is a tremendous help with joint comfort and lubrication.
    Great post!

  10. [...] blood panel, take general supplements that work for 99 percent of people (probiotics, fish oil and vitamin D), [...]

  11. [...] daytime heat in the valley—it is most often the perfect temperature and humidity, with almost constant sunshine. We have also met wonderful, friendly people who’ve come from all over the country to this [...]

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  13. [...] or flu may actually be a sign that you’re deficient in vitamin D. Keep your levels optimal with vitamin D supplementation throughout the winter months. Vitamin D is shown to improve mood, calm inflammation [...]

  14. Andrea Balt Andréa Balt says:

    Thanks for your input. Is it supposed to state this difference clearly on the label? Or would you say that any kind of D vitamin complex already contains a majority of D3?

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