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Dr. Joe's Book
 

 

Vitamin D, or Vitamin D Hormone?

Vitamin D deficiency is common in the United States and worldwide. It is known to be important in bone mineral metabolism, but now we have information that it does much more.

Vitamins are generally known to be responsible for a single disease, and appropriate supplementation should correct the disease. A hormone, which vitamin D is, goes to distant tissues and makes multiple metabolic improvements. ThatĎs vitamin Dís job.

Your levels of vitamin D should be much higher than previously thought. Certainly much higher than noted on the milk carton or vitamin pills in the local drug store. Here is the story for today.

Eight hundred to a thousand IUís are needed in general but as we age we need much more. I like liquid formulations best because as you age D is more difficult to absorb. It is probably best to consume that thousand IU daily for consistency in improving all the things Vitamin D will do for you. Here are some examples:

Hip Fractures and Non-Vertebral Fractures
Hip fractures drops 23% and other non-vertebral fractures drop 26%.

Muscles
We know vitamin D plays a role in retarding bone loss as we age but did you that it works on the muscles as well? Leg weakness is a common symptom of severe vitamin D deficiency.

Fewer Falls for Seniors
Lower extremity strength and improved walking were shown in several studies in older people. The risk of falling is improved 22%. Itís nice to have less muscle pain, walk a little faster and get out of a chair quicker than the other seniors. Arthritis is decreased in severity as well.

Cancers
Many cancers are also significantly diminished in occurrence by increasing vitamin D. These include cancers of the colon, breast, and prostate.

Current laboratory evidence shows that vitamin D signals the cells in these areas to become mature, stop growing, and eventually die off. In contrast, cancer cells rapidly divide and are immortal.

Other metabolic disorders that may benefit include type 1 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, possibly type 2 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.

The Immune System
Vitamin D is a potent modulator of activated T and B-lymphocytes, the workhorses of the immune system. Animal models show prevention of rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohnís Disease of the bowel. Research has shown marked improvement in psoriasis as well.

Request a Vitamin D Test
Once your vitamin D levels are assessed (this can be done through a blood test), you will know what vitamin D regimen is best for you. You may need a combination of prescription and natural sources of vitamin D. The vitamin D in prescription form should only be taken for a limited period of time, until your body reaches healthy values. Once healthy values are attained, you can maintain healthy values of vitamin D through natural supplements. Ask your health care provider to guide you through this process.

If that isnít enough, it is generally noted that there is a distinct improvement in well being and energy, often in the first week. All these improvements were reported in Endocrine News, a publication of the Endocrine Society in the August/September issue 2005 beginning on page 10.

Itís remarkable what you can do for yourself when you couple reliable information about health into action for your life. Itís not just good itís thrilling. Itís the way life is supposed to be.

 

Page 362
01/01/07 

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