What scientists are finding to be vitamin D deficiency symptoms, has changed drastically.
Not long ago they said that LOW amounts are considered to be NORMAL as they did when a US - Canadian health panel studied levels in people's blood in 1997.
But now an avalanche of new research is showing that our dosage should be ten times higher than the US Recommended Daily Allowance. Why?
Over the past few years, study after study showed that low levels cause deficiency symptoms, leading to a wide variety of diseases including:
Experts are now saying that you need MUCH MORE of the "sunshine vitamin," depending on:
Why all these diseases? Because it is the most important of vitamins to build immune system strength! It is also essential for getting deep, "restorative" sleep where the body can repair itself.
If you do not get year round, UVB sun on your skin, you are likely to have some symptoms, which might include:
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To make this vitamin the natural way, through your skin, you need sun exposure on naked skin, without sun block, at or near mid day:
Dr. Cannell is concerned that people aren't getting enough of the vitamin, especially when they are advised to avoid the mid day sun.
UV-B rays from the sun on the skin convert cholesterol into the "sunshine vitamin," which, researchers are finding to be a potent anticancer agent.
It is ironic that skin cancer may actually be prevented by what many feel causes it -- sunshine.
In his book, “Naked at Noon,” Krispin Sullivan says that: "One of the known protectors of skin cells from pre-cancerous changes is vitamin-D."
For most Americans the primary source of this vitamin is sunlight.
How best to get UV-B?
1. THE COLOR OF YOUR SKIN: The protective pigment in you skin will determine how long you need to stay in the sun:
blacks or South Asians may need to spend up to 10 times longer to make the same amount of D as whites. Heavily pigmented skin blocks up to 95% of UV radiation to the deepest skin layers.
People with red or blond hair and blue eyes tend to be more at risk of skin cancer, and should more careful about sun exposure.
But as people cover their skin to avoid skin cancer, they reduce the production of this crucial D3 vitamin.
2. AIR POLLUTION also interferes with its manufacture because particulate pollution reduces the amount of sunlight people may receive, and also, ozone depletion causes them to minimize exposure to what sunlight there is.
3. YOUR DIET: Even if you spend some time each day in the sun, foods high in D still recommended.
In the past, people ate a lot more foods high in vitamin d and they also spent more time outdoors.
Vitamin D foods include butterfat, eggs, liver, organ meats, fish oils and seafood, particularly shrimp and crab.
But don't think that drinking vitamin-enriched milk or foods will do it! The vitamin-d that's added to milk is not as good as the vitamin- D3 that's recommended as a vitamin supplement.
To get your vitamin-D from milk, you would have to drink 100 glasses to keep from getting deficient.
Since we don’t typically eat these rich foods anymore and stay indoors, experts say that we now need to take this vitamin as a supplement.
How long do you need to stay in the sun? How long stay sun vitamin d for best absorption?
How long sit in the sun or be outside depends on 2:
4. YOUR AGE: Normal aging involves a reduction in the production of D3 by sun-exposed skin.
And also, the absorption of vitamin-D from foods and the body's ability to convert this into its active form, D3 also decreases as people get older.
5. YOUR WEIGHT: Supplements, not sunlight, may be necessary for overweight persons because they are less than half as able to utilize vitamin-D3 that’s made through the skin, compared to lean persons.
Since approximately two-thirds of all Americans are overweight or obese, this is a very significant public health problem.
"In obese subjects, oral vitamin-D3 was more bioavailable than D from sunlight exposure.”
(Wortsman J et al. Decreased bioavailability of vitamin-D in obesity. Am J Clin Nut. 72:690-693. 2000.)
OFFICIAL DOSAGES set in the past were based on what it took to PREVENT RICKETS, so that the Current US Daily Reference Intakes (DRI) for this vitamin are:
Infants 0-12 months, 200 IU (5 micrograms)
Males and females 1-50 years, 200 IU (5 mcg)
51-70 years, 400 IU (10 mcg)
71 years and older, 600 IU (15 mcg)
Pregnant or nursing women, 200 IU (5 mcg)
But new research is showing that EVEN THREE TIMES the DRI for an adult is NOT ENOUGH if a person is not getting adequate sunlight.
These levels are certainly NOT therapeutic levels.
(Eguchi M and Kaibara N, Int Orthop. 3:257-264. 1980).
Some experts are now saying that we need TEN TIMES the DRI amount.
If you are a lifeguard outside, or spend a lot of time in the sun, you do not need to take supplemental D3.
Thirty minutes of exposure to noonday summer sun releases 50,000 IU into the blood stream. Humans are designed to tolerate and need large amounts of this vitamin!
Here’s what to take into account:
6. NORTHERN LATITUDE: People living in the northern United States, Canada and northern Europe can't make D3 in winter because the sunlight is too weak.
During the winter in the north, D3 can only be gotten through food and supplements. Compared to the amount that is made in the skin, amounts in food are very low:
A cup of fortified milk has about 100 IU, a typical multivitamin 200 IU, but that typically is not D3, and vitamin-D3 is the active, better form.
7. EVEN IN SUNNY CLIMATES, Symptoms of Vitamin D DEFICIENCY have, been found regardless of latitude and season:
People at the highest risk include the elderly, especially those who are housebound or in residential care.
Researchers worry that the recommended intakes or this vitamin are far too low and people may need to be at 4,000 IU a day in winter.
The women in a clinical trial that found that D3 reduced cancer incidence, had been given 1,000 IU a day over a four-year period.
Certainly anyone with a chronic illness would be wise to take such higher doses of D3 because of its newly discovered importance for immune function as well as being needed for the production of hormones.
Doctors who have all their patients tested for levels of D3 are finding that about 85% of their patients have low levels of the vitamin.
Although there is little agreement about what constitutes too much of this vitamin, most experts agree that amounts up to 2,000 IU a day are safe, while some D researchers say the upper limit should be what humans make when exposed to sunshine, about 10,000 IU a day.
There is also evidence that this vitamin becomes "anti-inflammatory" at a dosage of 2000 IU's per day, so anyone with a chronic condition would be advised to take this amount.
We hope that our article on the benefits of vitamin D3 has been helpful.
Yes, the experts disagree about what vitamin d dosage is normal. But since there are no vitamin D side effects from a high dosage, it is best to be safe than sorry. Why?
Not having enough of this vitamin is also associated with hypertensive heart disease, one of the world’s biggest killers.
We hope you will be able to use the new science about the causes of vitamin D deficiency to stay or get healthy.
If you live where there are winters and you do not get much sunshine, you will likely need a higher vitamin d dosage than you think.
Although there are some foods high in vitamin d, it is wise for most people to get extra vitamin d benefits with D3.
Now you can avoid these new found symptoms of vitamin D deficiency and even recover better with a therapeutic dosage for:
Here's the diseases now listed as having vitamin d deficiency symptoms:
Crohns disease symptoms have been turned around by researchers by giving a therapeutic dosage of the sunshine vitamin. Taking high doses can be a Crohns disease cure!
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We hope that you are inspired by our article about vitamins to build immune system strength, and the best supplements for immune system help for many diseases!
Sources for benefits of vitaminD3 and vitamin d deficiency symptoms: