Vitamin D: Needed for a Shield Against Diseases as Well as for Strong Bones
“It\’s D-Lightful: Vitamin D Gets Its Moment in the Sun” announced the July 15th Wall Street Journal Health Journal by Melinda Beck. And the article went on to explain that, while Vitamin D is known for being crucial for strong bones, there\’s new research suggesting it also protects against a wide variety of diseases.
Did this news upset me at my age? (Over age 51 the amount of D needed increases.) Not in the least – because only yesterday my new doctor had blood drawn to check my Vitamin D level. The week before, at my first visit to him, he had explained that he\’d been finding too low levels of D in his patients.
And since January, when I had my annual gynecological exam, I\’ve been taking a Vitamin D supplement daily because my gynecologist told me to do so. (I didn\’t ask him why – I just did what he said.)
According to the Journal article, the strongest source of natural Vitamin D is ultraviolet B rays from the sun. These rays convert a form of cholesterol into vitamin D in the skin.
Turns out all of us who have given up sitting in the sun to avoid skin cancer have deprived our bodies of an important vitamin. The Journal article quotes John J. Cannell, founder of the nonprofit Vitamin D Council in Atascadero, California, as saying that Vitamin D “turns into a steroid hormone that\’s involved in the maintenance of over 200 human genes.” (See www.vitamindcouncil.org for more info.)
The American Academy of Pediatricians is already recommending that breast-fed infants get 400 international units of supplemental D daily. And the National Osteoporosis Foundation says adults over age 50 should get at least 800 to 1,000 international units to prevent fractures.
The next time you see your doctor, regardless of your age, ask about being tested for a Vitamin D deficiency. It turns out it\’s important to be “exposed” to the sun after all – just in a safe (artificial) way.
Syndicated from www.dogooderscrooge.blogspot.com