Vitamin D – why do we need it

Why do we need Vitamin D

 

Why do we need  vitamin D?  Well it is one of the oldest hormones on Earth which means that it is linked to almost every function in your body.  It is made by you when sunlight hits your skin from cholesterol in your body.

The link between Vitamin D and strong bones was discovered a while ago when doctors made the link between sunlight on the skin or cod liver oil supplements as a prevention for rickets.  Recent research is showing it is important in preventing and treating a number of serious long term health problems.

Unfortunately we cannot rely on the foods we eat to supply us with adequate amounts of this vital substance.  This is made worse if we are unable to expose our skin to sunlight regularly .  A lack has been linked to many health conditions which include cancer, asthma, type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s and Type I diabetes.

Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as pandemic.  The major cause  is the lack of appreciation that sun exposure in moderation is the major source of vitamin D for most humans.

Michael F Holick and Tai C Chen.  Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences.  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  April 2008 vol 87 no 4

 

What functions of the body is Vitamin D involved with?

Cellular growth and development

Blood sugar control

Digestion and absorption of nutrients

Blood pressure control

Vascular health

Heart health

Immune function

Joint health

Pancreatic function

Carbohydrate and fat metabolism

Weight management

Reproduction

Healthy lungs and airways

Brain development

Muscle function

And any more!

 

What should Vitamin D levels be?

The correct test should measure Vitamin D as 25OH which is thre 26-hydroxy vitamin D test.  This is the most accurate way to determine how much there is in your body.

I like to see in my clinic levels as follows:

Normal range:  75 – 250 nmol/L

 

Useful Tests:

Vitamin D Skin Prick Test

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