Recent studies involving more than one million people have found that vitamin D levels are a good barometer of their health with respect to diabetes, cancer and heart disease. But if you want vitamin D supplements, you need to take the class, to make a right choice.
Vitamin D is not just for healthy bones, it is for much more
Although scientists have known for more than 80 years that the body uses vitamin D to make the hormones needed to transport calcium into bones, a growing body of evidence has found that vitamin D is also essential for immune regulation, For the prevention and improvement of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Vitamin D and Diabetes
Insulin-producing beta cells from the pancreas are activated by a calcium inflow that is made possible by a form of vitamin D known as D3, which makes the membranes of beta cells more permeable to calcium needed to trigger release Of insulin. A study involving 55 diabetics performed by Swiss researchers found that correcting vitamin D deficiencies also improved insulin sensitivity throughout the body, lowering blood sugar levels, making insulin more efficient.
Diabetics who received 300,000 IU of vitamin D3 by injection into a muscle get essentially normal blood sugar in six months without any other intervention.
Vitamin D and Cancer
As early as 1908, medical researchers realized that cancer deaths are more common in people living in northern climates. Even among people who spent most of their time outdoors in the sun, farmers, for example, cancer deaths were more common in cool, cloudy northern locations than in the sunny south.
In 2014, scientists at Harvard, Oxford, and other universities collaborated on a study of vitamin D status and health outcomes in more than 1 million people worldwide.
These researchers found that people who had vitamin D deficiencies had a 14% higher risk of dying from cancer compared to people who had normal levels of vitamin D.
Other studies have found that low levels of vitamin D are associated with more aggressive breast cancer in women and more advanced prostate cancer in men and that there is more sun receiving, less likely to develop Bladder cancer, colon, gastric, or colorectal cancer. Sun exposure also reduces the risk of cervical and endometrial cancer in women.
Vitamin D and Heart Disease
Vitamin D is essential for the manufacture of hormones that transport calcium into the bones, but it is also essential for the manufacture of hormones that transport calcium out of cholesterol-laden plaques on the walls of the arteries. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis, heart valve dysfunctions, and, because calcium is needed to fuel the muscles, poor contractile function, or “pumping power,” of the heart. And because low levels of vitamin D are linked to insulin resistance, they are also linked to high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, accelerating the process of atherogenesis, or hardening of the arteries.
Low vitamin D levels are also associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, congestive heart failure, venous insufficiency, and peripheral vascular disease.
It is an open question of whether these disease processes are caused by vitamin D deficiency, or that they cause vitamin D deficiency. However, due to the fact that a growing number of long-term clinical trials are finding that the Taking vitamin D supplements prevent these diseases, it seems that the deficiency causes the disease rather than the other way around. And vitamin D deficiency is not difficult to remedy.
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How to know what levels of vitamin D I have in my body
You do not have to wait until you develop some terrible disease to know that you have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D levels can be measured with a simple blood test. Tests for vitamin D are not yet common enough that most labs do the same day, but the doctor usually receives a report on vitamin D levels the second day after you have the blood sample, So be sure to go to the lab for your blood draw in front of your appointment with the doctor.
Different levels of vitamin D for the protection of different diseases
Different levels of vitamin D are associated with the protection of different diseases. Most laboratories will report any level of vitamin D below 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) as “low.” (Some laboratories express their measurements in nanomoles per liter.) The equivalent of 20 ng/ml is 50 Nanomoles per liter or 50 nm / l) level is the degree of deficiency associated with an increased risk of cancer. However, the increased risk of cardiovascular disease is associated with vitamin D levels below 30 ng/ml (or 75 nmol / L) O. Your lab results may return as normal, but you may still have to take Vitamin D to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Typically, doctors order tests for 1,25-hydroxyvitamin D. Testing for a different form of the vitamin, 25-hydroxyvitamin D would be more informative, but do not worry about the differences. If your levels are low, you need to complement.
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If you can get all the vitamin D your body needs from sunlight, it is advisable to sunbathe, but do not overdo it as it can be bad for the skin. The skin does not have vitamin D when it is covered by sunscreen, and can not produce vitamin D in the gloom, or dark cloudy day. If the outdoor UV level is less than 3, your skin does not make any vitamin D.
Do not try to increase your vitamin D levels just by getting more sun. Vitamin D is safe and cheap. Take a vitamin D supplement – but take the right kind.
Vitamin D exists in two different forms. Vitamin D2, also known as ergocalciferol, is the “storage” form of vitamin D. Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is the “active” form of the vitamin. In a recent study, taking vitamin D3 reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, while vitamin D2 intake does not.
A few plant foods, such as mushrooms, provide vitamin D2. A few animal foods, such as butter, cream, and cod liver oil, provide vitamin D3. If you are taking a supplement, make sure it is labeled as “vitamin D3.”
About 4,000 IU of vitamin D a day is enough not to go back. You may need to take between 200,000 and 300,000 units above the immediate needs of your body to replenish your vitamin D reserves. Your body can not absorb that amount of vitamin D at a time unless injected in order to take 5,000 IU of vitamin D daily for three to six months and then only 4,000 IU per day thereafter. It is possible to have an overdose of vitamin D, which requires millions of units taken over a period of several weeks. Limit to 5,000 IU per day for best results.