In the past few years, researchers all over the world have found that vitamin D deficiency is common. It affects about one billion people, and at least half of all older adults in the United States. Vitamin D is an import tool in disease prevention and, in the past decade, it has proven to be possibly natural medicine’s best tool for cancer protection.
Many things conspire to cause low vitamin D levels. They include not getting enough sunlight, not eating enough fatty fish and dairy, the simple process of aging, having health conditions such as obesity, liver disease, kidney disease or hyperthyroidism, and taking medications such as laxatives and anticonvulsants.
If you have low levels of vitamin D for a long period of time, there can be serious consequences. It can cause high blood pressure and, in the worst cases, heart failure. It can cause muscle weakness and pain in the extremities. It can trigger insulin resistance, which paves the way for diabetes. It leaves women more prone to multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It has been tied to higher risks for these cancers, amongst others: colon, pancreatic, breast, ovarian and prostate cancers, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Vitamin D deficiency is a common and dangerous phenomenon. The best way to prevent a deficiency is to get adequate sun exposure. Sometimes, this isn’t possible, along with the fact that skin cancer is caused by getting too much sun. In much of the United States now, winter is soon to arrive and with it less daylight and sunlight.
If you can’t get 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure (no sunscreen), then up your intake of oily fish, fish oils, and fortified milk, cereal and orange juice. Supplements are an excellent idea as well. Use vitamin D3 when taking supplements and aim for 800 to 1,000 “international units” represented by “IU.”
Everyone is at risk of becoming vitamin D deficient. Many reading this probably are vitamin D deficient. Speak to your doctor about this possibility and about the appropriate dose of vitamin D you should be taking every day. Simply understanding the importance of vitamin D and taking steps to up your intake will go a long way to keeping the body healthy.