Archive for February 2015

Vitamin D: King of Vitamins

When you examine the multitude of health benefits that Vitamin D offers, it is not difficult to appreciate the significance it plays in both disease prevention and the treatment of existing conditions.

However the disturbing statistic is that up to 80% of the population could be deficient in this critical health promoter and disease fighter, which has been described as a pandemic in the USA.

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Not a day goes by where I don’t receive a new study or article about the wonders of this vitamin (in the natural, non synthetic D3 form I may add) or to be more accurate, steroid hormone.

Researchers are finding that Vitamin D acts more like a hormone in the body and influences many biochemical processes and you absorb it primarily from sun exposure or supplementation in high amounts with much less coming from foods; it is the ability of Vitamin D to influence genetic expression that produces many of its wide ranging health benefits.

What are the health benefits?

  • ImmunityVitamin D fights infections, including colds and the flu, as it regulates the expression of genes that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses.
  • CVD – Vitamin D is very important for reducing hypertension, atherosclerotic heart disease, heart attack and stroke. One study showed that Vitamin D deficiency increased the risk of heart attack by 50% and if you have a heart attack and you’re Vitamin D deficient, your risk of dying from that heart attack creeps up to 100%.
  • Autoimmune diseases – Vitamin D is a potent immune modulator, making it very important for the prevention of autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Cancers – Vitamin D has been shown in many studies to reduce the development of various cancers. For example, one of the Nurses’ Health Studies showed that nurses who had the highest blood levels of Vitamin D, averaging about 50 ng/ml, reduced their risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 50%.

St Georges Hospital in London calculated from their studies that women with low levels of Vitamin D in their breast tissue have a 354% (4.5 times) greater risk of breast cancer.

That is remarkable and begs the question, why are cancer charities and the medical profession not continually embarking on publicity programmes for Vitamin D supplementation?

Research in 2012 in Cancer Causes and Control presented findings that former/never smokers were 44% less likely to die from lung cancer if they had blood levels of Vitamin D above 44 nmo per litre.

Research published in the Journal of Cell Biology (Nov 2008) has shown that “Vitamin D can adjust almost everything in the cancer cell, from its genetic messaging to its cytoskeleton. It can switch genes on and off, reduce cell division and can calm the cancer cells so that they settle rather than spread. It seems Vitamin D can actually return a cancer cell to a normal and healthy state. One pathway seems to control everything”.

Vitamin D can also enhance the efficacy of cancer drugs; researchers at the Salk Institute have shown that the pancreatic cancer drug Gemcitabine works 57% better if combined with Vitamin D.

Researchers recently made a link with high Vitamin D levels and an increase in the survival of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

  • In utero and beyond – Vitamin D levels are linked to many pre and post birth conditions including poor general foetal health, pre-eclampsia, excess C-Section procedures, asthma and wheezing, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

 What is the recommended dosage?

If you do not live in the sun belt areas of the world, then supplementation is the best other option. Here are some guidelines that will help you to start reaping the benefits of this powerful vitamin like steroid hormone.

  • Neonates: 400 to 1,000 IUs per day
  • Children one year of age and above: 600 to 1,000 IUs per day
  • Adults: 2,000 to 4,000 IUs per day

NB For best results, Vitamin D should be taken in tandem with Vitamin K2. Also there are no toxicity issues with Vitamin D even up to 10,000 IUs per day. George Ebers, the renowned Vitamin D researcher takes 4,000 IUs per day.

Summary

Since the early 2000’s there has been 34,000 scientific investigations carried out on the health benefits of Vitamin D and still we see increasing rates of many disease conditions.

Vitamin D is so powerful as a therapeutic agent that it has been reclassified in medical circles as a hormone. Not only does Vitamin D prevent a wide range of diseases, but can also reduce the risks of dying and even reverse diseases; prevention is the much preferred option of course.

Dr. Michael Holick, an expert on Vitamin D and author of the book, “The Vitamin D Solution” estimates that 50% of cancers could be prevented with Vitamin D supplementation; this example alone clearly demonstrates the therapeutic power of this cheap and easily accessible vitamin or to be medically correct, steroid hormone.

So what on earth are Governments doing when they are supposed to be protecting the health of nations.

Is the information being suppressed or not publicised more freely? Would free prescriptions for Vitamin D at the correct doses (not Government RDA’s) slash the disease rates in cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and much more? Would Big Pharma put the brakes on such a bold and innovative step by Governments?