(NaturalNews) A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that 70 percent of U.S. children have low levels of vitamin D. "We expected the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency would be high, but the magnitude of the problem nationwide was shocking" says Dr. Juhi Kumar of Children's Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center.
In times past it was known that not enough vitamin D caused a bone disease known as rickets, but more recent discoveries count vitamin D deficiency as a major factor in adult heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, at least 17 varieties of cancer and more.
Vitamin D deficiency has been noted in 69 percent of adult patients with inflammatory joint diseases or connective tissue diseases, 77 percent with soft tissue rheumatism, 62 percent with osteoarthritis, 75 percent with back pain, and 71 percent with osteoporosis.
The "sunshine" vitamin
Years ago it was wrongly proposed that the sun was our enemy and that sunshine caused skin cancer. Boy were we wrong! The opposite it true and our abuse of sunblock goops is growing in lock-step with the growing numbers for skin cancer.
The skin makes the best form of vitamin D from sun exposure and produces approximately 10,000 IU of vitamin D with just 20-30 minutes of full-body summer sun exposure. Sunlight exposure is the best way to get Vitamin D, as the body automatically regulates how much Vitamin D it makes from sunlight. The body stores vitamin D for up to six months.
Then there is the added benefit of vitamin D controlling cholesterol levels. Since vitamin D precursors require cholesterol for conversion, without adequate sun exposure, vitamin D precursors can turn into cholesterol instead of the vitamin. Conversely, statin drugs hamper the body's vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium. A person deficient in vitamin D doesn't absorb enough calcium, even if the intake of calcium is high. Vitamin D is also an anticancer miracle being part of a metabolic product called calcitriol that influences some 2,000 genes in the body. Vitamin D has also repeatedly shown great promise in fighting off colds and flu, and people who are D-deficient are more likely to get sick.
Where to get your vitamin D
The best source of vitamin D comes from the sun - which makes supplementing with cholecalciferol (D-3) pills second best. Being an oil-soluble vitamin, at least a portion D-3 should be from cod liver oil, so that some Vitamin A and other oils' fractions are included. If you are taking a large daily dose of Vitamin D, divide the dose between two or three meals.
Diet sources of vitamin D are fatty fish and fish liver oils, mushrooms, eggs and raw milk. Some foods, such as milk and orange juice, are fortified with vitamin D, but the form of vitamin D used for fortification is not best.
Read your labels and definitely avoid the Big Pharma version called calcitrol vitamin D. Take too much synthetic vitamin D and you might just end up with muscle weakness, apathy, headache, anorexia, irritability, nausea, vomiting, and bone pain. Keep on taking too much and you could get constipation, anorexia, abdominal cramps, polydipsia, polyuria, backache, hyperlipidemia, and hypercalcemia.
A blood test can determine where your actual vitamin D levels are. The Vitamin D Council recommends blood levels between 50-80 ng/mL. Adults can safely supplement with D-3 in divided doses up to 10,000 IU a day. If you have cancer your naturopath may prescribe much more.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated its vitamin D guidelines for infants, children, and teens to 400 IU per day in supplement form although many health experts say that amount is still far too low.
About the author: Craig Stellpflug is a Cancer Nutrition Specialist, Lifestyle Coach and Neuro Development Consultant at Healing Pathways Medical Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. http://www.healingpathwayscancerclinic.com/ With 17 years of clinical experience working with both brain disorders and cancer, Craig has seen first-hand the devastating effects of vaccines and pharmaceuticals on the human body and has come to the conclusion that a natural lifestyle and natural remedies are the true answers to health and vibrant living. You can find his daily health blog at www.blog.realhealthtalk.com and his articles and radio show archives at www.realhealthtalk.com