My main expertise is in helping individuals uncover and dissolve limiting beliefs so they can be happier. In addition, I’m always keeping my eyes open for other ways to enhance emotional well-being.
In the winter (and most of the Fall and early Spring) in Iowa, the skies are gray. Being of Mediterranean descent, I thrive on sunshine, so when my friend, Sheila, shared her research with me about taking higher doses of Vitamin D, I tried it. Those of us who live in the northern Hemisphere, north of a line running from New York City west across to upstate California, are not able to get 15 minutes of sun a day, so we are more than likely low in Vitamin D. In addition, the ability of skin to convert vitamin D to its active form decreases as we age. The kidneys, which help convert vitamin D to its active form, sometimes do not work as well when we age also.
I’m not a nutritionist, but I’m sharing my experience in the hopes that it can help you feel better. I have taken herbs and vitamins for most of my adult life as a preventive measure, so when I started feeling more energy and a sense of deep ease, one week after increasing my vitamin D intake, I took notice.
How can you find out if you need more vitamin D? Ask your doctor to order your blood work specifically to check your Vitamin D levels.
This article highlighted on the Women toWomen site was written based on research on the effects of Vitamin D. The Women to Women group pioneered the combination of alternative and conventional medicine in women’s health and are available to help you with your health needs.
Here are some of the vitamin D functions:
- Supports key mineral absorption and metabolism (especially calcium and phosphorus in the blood and bones).
- Regulates normal cell differentiation and proliferation (e.g., prevention of cancer).
- Promotes insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation (insulin secretion).
- Regulates over 200 genes through binding to vitamin D receptors throughout the body.
As stated in the USA Today article: “Vitamin D is nicknamed the “sunshine vitamin” because the skin makes it from ultraviolet rays. Sunscreen blocks its production, but dermatologists and health agencies have long preached that such lotions are needed to prevent skin cancer. Now some scientists are questioning that advice. The reason is that vitamin D increasingly seems important for preventing and even treating many types of cancer.
In the last three months alone, four separate studies found it helped protect against lymphoma and cancers of the prostate, lung and, ironically, the skin. The strongest evidence is for colon cancer. Many people aren’t getting enough vitamin D. It’s hard to do from food and fortified milk alone, and supplements are problematic.
So the thinking is this: Even if too much sun leads to skin cancer, which is rarely deadly, too little sun may be worse. No one is suggesting that people fry on a beach. But many scientists believe that “safe sun” — 15 minutes or so a few times a week without sunscreen — is not only possible but helpful to health. One is Dr. Edward Giovannucci, a Harvard University professor of medicine and nutrition who laid out his case in a keynote lecture at a recent American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Anaheim, Calif. His research suggests that vitamin D might help prevent 30 deaths for each one caused by skin cancer. “I would challenge anyone to find an area or nutrient or any factor that has such consistent anti-cancer benefits as vitamin D,” Giovannucci told the cancer scientists. “The data are really quite remarkable.”
Joan Lappe, a Creighton University professor of medicine and nursing, and lead author of another long-term study, said, “What we can say from our study is that 1,100 international units (IUs) a day of vitamin D definitely decreased the incidence of cancer.”The research adds to growing evidence that vitamin D can help protect against many forms of cancer as well as other diseases,” Creighton University researchers said.
Comment here if you’ve had experiences taking extra doses of Vitamin D.
You are welcome to reprint, copy, or distribute Lenora Boyle’s article, provided author credit is included.