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Put some sunshine in your heart with Vitamin D
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
Much research has come to light in the past couple of years on the need for and power of Vitamin D. It is estimated that 70 – 90% of North Americans and 7 out of 10 children in the U.S. are deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency causes or worsens all kinds of symptoms, conditions and disease; the deficiency even leads to as much as a 60% increase in cancer rates.
Every year, about 5 weeks after I stop spending time in the sun, I notice my mood start to become a little heavier and my optimism begin to fade. Out comes the Vitamin D and within a week, I notice my spirits brighten. Now, I am deficient in Vitamin D and I am extra sensitive, so I notice these subtle changes in myself. Some of you may not notice a change in yourself once summer turns into fall. I’m here to help you determine if this is something you need to look into!
You may be deficient in Vitamin D if you or your child is experiencing one or more of the following:
- Feeling down or depressed
- Frequent colds or flu
- Infections of any kind
- Muscle cramps or weakness
- High blood pressure or other heart challenges
- Chronic pain, particularly in bones (spine, ribs, legs)
- Obesity (I found this really interesting – the lower your Vitamin D, the more your body manufactures fat and the heavier you become!)
- Tooth decay
- Seizures and Epilepsy
- Hearing loss
- Any illness involving the immune system
Studies show that taking Vitamin D will also make you faster, stronger, better coordinated, and mentally tougher as an athlete. And for those of you that are pregnant, Vitamin D will help prevent premature labour and having to have a C-section! Vitamin D is also required for the developing brain of a baby.
Many medical doctors do not know that Vitamin D has strong antibiotic properties and it will prevent the flu far better than flu shots. If you have any questions as to why Vitamin D causes or worsens these symptoms or conditions, by all means, please comment, so the rest of the readers can learn from your curiosity.
Sunshine is the best source of Vitamin D. But in the winter months, Vitamin D is not available to us in Canada, even if it is sunny outside, so we need to supplement with Vitamin D. You may want to have yourself or your child tested for Vitamin D levels. Optimal 25-hydroxy Vitamin D blood levels should be between 100 and 250 ng/ml. The test is no longer free at doctor’s offices but Vitamin D is very inexpensive to purchase so you may want to try Vitamin D2 or D3 (considered by Dr. Zoltan Rona to be equally safe and effective and he believes that adults can safely consume up to 10,000 IU each day) and see if you notice any of the above symptoms, conditions or disease improving. There are Vitamin D drops that can be added to a child’s water without them even noticing in order to get their levels up to par.
When we hit summer, just 10-20 minutes of sunshine provides us with enough Vitamin D. If your child is not prone to burning easily, it is best not to put sunscreen on them until they’ve been out in the sun for 10 minutes because sunscreen prevents the absorption of Vitamin D. UVA sunlight is responsible for skin damage, aging and wrinkles. UVA light is before 10 am or after 2pm so being out at these times in the day is actually more dangerous than being out in the sun from 10am to 2pm when we receive UVB exposure – the healthier rays! This is the opposite of what we have been taught all these years!
There are not enough rich food sources of Vitamin D for us to receive adequate amounts of Vitamin D from our diet but what are some healthy food sources of Vitamin D?
- Fish oil (Fish oils also protect us against the destruction of Vitamin D, which can occur with exposure to chemicals, drugs and pollutants)
- Salmon, tuna canned in oil
- Vitamin D fortified almond, hemp and oat milk
- Egg yolk
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Blue-green algae, chlorella and spirulina – contains low amounts
Certain people are more at risk for Vitamin D deficiency than others. Are you at risk?
- People who are overweight
- Pregnant women
- Older people – Skin loses the ability to create Vitamin D as it ages and often older people are not outside as much as they were when they were younger
- Dark-skinned people – have a high content of melanin, which blocks UVB rays, making them more prone to deficiency.
This information was gleaned from Dr. Zoltan Rona’s latest book, Vitamin D – the Sunshine Vitamin. Dr. Rona is a well-respected medical doctor who practices complementary and alternative medicine in Toronto. He has written numerous books and was kind enough to write the foreword for my book, The Resourceful Mother’s Secrets to Healthy Kids.
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Until next time,