Eating Sunshine Part- 1
When UV rays from the sun hit our skin, something miraculous occurs. The sunlight activates chemicals in our skin to produce a very powerful hormone called Vitamin D3. How important is this vitamin/hormone?
The 2008 Annals of Oncology reported that women with the lowest level of vitamin D were at a 222% increased risk for developing breast cancer. Other studies show that men with higher levels of vitamin D have a 52% reduction of prostate cancer. In the medical journal Stroke, researchers found that for every small decrease in vitamin D levels, there was an amazing 86% increase in the number of fatal strokes. Current research indicates vitamin D deficiency plays a role in causing 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, hypertension, autoimmune disease, diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, and even periodontal disease. After reading pages of research on the benefits of vitamin D, one comes away with the feeling that this country’s health care costs could be dramatically slashed simply by taking a supplement that costs less than six cents a day!
Long nights and short days mean less sunshine, which physiologically speaking, almost guarantees our body is probably deficient in this hormone. Vitamin D3 produces a series of antibiotic-like compounds called antimicrobial peptides that kill viruses and bacteria. It prevents the immune system from overreacting to the bacterial or viral invasion. This immune overreaction is a major cause of death from infections such as the flu and measles. Yes, your immune system can turn on you if overstimulated. Vitamin D keeps it on a leash.
In 2008, the Archives of Internal Medicine published a study showing that men with higher vitamin D levels had 142% reduction in heart attacks. I wouldn’t stop taking any heart medicine, but I sure would find out if I was deficient in vitamin D3. According to the world’s foremost experts, blood levels of vitamin D below 30 NG per ML are considered to be insufficient. Optimal vitamin D3 levels are 65 to 75 NG per ML, but less than 100. Less than optimal levels of D exposes us to virtually every killer disease of aging and can cripple our health. Levels below 25 require supplementing with 10,000 IU a day for two weeks and 5000 IU a day thereafter. Pregnant women should supplement with 2000 IU throughout the pregnancy and during breast-feeding. Newborns can be given 500 IU and small children can take 1000 IU a day.
Vitamin C also offers some amazing health benefits. Not only does it help prevent infections but it also reduces their complications, making it easier and faster to recover. Since we can only absorb small amounts of vitamin C, a high absorption form called Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C was developed. It’s available in small, 1000 mg packets. Two packets three times a day will help protect you. If you’re already sick with a virus you can increase this to 3 to 4000 mg three times a day. Small children can take 1000 mg twice a day. Always, always take vitamin C on an empty stomach.
Taken alone, vitamin C may not be effective at all. Vitamin C is water-soluble and cannot enter the fatty parts of our cells or brain. Combining it with natural vitamin E (the succinate form ) solves this problem. The combination of C and E prevents their degradation and potentiates their effectiveness. Studies “proving “vitamin C is ineffective use vitamin C alone and not in combination with vitamin E or any other antioxidants. This is a huge mistake! For general maintenance and day-to-day use, 500 mg of calcium ascorbate or magnesium ascorbate are the next best absorbed forms of vitamin C and less expensive than the potent Lypo-Spheric form.
There’s a lot more on infection prevention that I’d like to share, but space doesn’t permit. Next issue we’ll follow up with the remainder of what can be done to dodge the flu and other common infections. Until then stay well, and don’t forget to eat some sunshine today. Dr. Ardito – Sunshine Dentistry AZ