Originally published March 18 2013
Five ways to get more vitamin D through natural sources
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) The form of vitamin D that's credited to ridding the population of rickets by "fortifying" processed milk and bread is D2. But lately, the UK has been reporting a bit of an upsurge with rickets.
Furthermore, research over the past two decades shows that vitamin D is important for resisting many other minor health aliments, obesity, metabolic syndromes, and major diseases, even cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
For that level of health protection, vitamin D3 supplements are considered superior to D2 supplements. The consensus is that supplementing 5 to 10 thousand IUs (international units) daily should be safe.
A blood level vitamin D count of 20 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter) is considered normal in mainstream medicine. Those who understand preventative nutrition better consider 50 plus ng/ml healthier. While treating any disease, 80 to 100 ng/ml temporarily is considered therapeutic. Above 100ng/ml leads to a toxic reaction.
The serum 25(OH)D test is standard for determining vitamin D blood levels.
Vitamin D2 has been synthetically produced from UVB (ultra-violet B) irradiation of ergosterol derived from the mold ergot since the 1920s. However, vitamin D3 supplements are made by more closely resembling the process that occurs in our skin's cholesterol from UVB sunshine exposure.
For vitamin D3 supplements, mostly lanolin from sheep's wool is used with the same process of UVB radiation. The sheep's lanolin has the same type of cholesterol that's in human skin. Exposing the sheep's lanolin to UVB radiation to mimic sunshine creates cholecalciferol.
Whether from sunlight exposure on human skin or UVB radiation on lonolin, the cholecalciferol needs to be converted by the liver and kidneys into the pro-hormone (hormone precursor) known as vitamin D3.
It's generally considered that vitamin D3 supplements are prone to less toxicity issues while being better absorbed into the body and capable of maintaining a more stable level of blood level vitamin D than D2 provides.
Natural sources of vitamin D(1) Obviously the sun on exposed skin is the most natural source of vitamin D. The process of UVB on the skin's cholesterol is explained above.
What's interesting is, unlike vitamin D3 supplementing, your body's conversion of sunlight to vitamin D has a built in safeguard. It stops producing it when there's enough, regardless of how long you're out under the sun.
Some posit that bathing or showering with soap too soon, within 48 hours after sun-skin exposure, washes away some of the cholesterol before it sets up the conversion cycle completely. So using soap only for areas prone to becoming odorous while under the shower will preserve the early cholesterol UVB conversion to D phase.
(2) Most use fish oils, especially cod liver oil, to for their omega-3 content. Those oils also contain varying amounts of naturally produced vitamin D3. Some are high and some are so-so. Krill oil is considered a better choice by some. The more sea-life feeds on plankton, the higher its vitamin D3 potential.
(4) Eating fish such as sardines, herring, and catfish that feed considerably on plankton offers the most vitamin D3. Mackerel, cold water salmon, and tuna round out the fish group that helps maintain your vitamin D3 levels.
Be aware of potential toxicity from certain seafood sources. Fresh eggs from local free range hens also offer a good deal of vitamin D3.
(5) If you're avoiding all animal or animal source foods, Dr. Edward Group, DC, ND, recommends sun dried Shitake and button mushrooms as food sources to help maintain your vitamin D levels.
Sources for this article include:
UK rickets upsurge http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20710026
The case against ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as a vitamin supplement http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/84/4/694.full
Dr. Edward Group DC, ND food sources http://www.globalhealingcenter.com
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