Vitamin D has been called the “miracle vitamin” by many health experts due to its significance in promoting health and fighting numerous diseases. It is likely to be therapeutic for neurodegenerative diseases – an epidemic amongst aging Americans.
This particular vitamin is found in many food sources including milk, eggs, and fish, and it can be produced by the skin through sunlight exposure. While vitamin D is widely known for its role in maintaining strong and healthy bones by helping the body absorb calcium, there is new evidence that it also protects the immune and neural cells against the risk factor for various brain diseases.
Vitamin D Boosts Immune Function — Your Primary Defense Against Disease
An organic diet, Vitamin D, and a balanced lifestyle are very important immune boosters.
In related news, researchers have also discovered that men diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer tend to have vitamin D levels below 23 ng/ml. According to this study, vitamin D may actually be used as a biomarker to predict the aggressiveness of prostate cancer. According to lead investigator Dr. Adam Murphy, “All men should be replenishing their vitamin D to normal levels. It’s smart preventive health care.”
How Vitamin D Helps Protect Against Cancer
Vitamin D influences virtually every cell in your body, which is part of why it’s effective against so many different kinds of cancer and other disease states.
If you have breast cancer in progress, the addition of vitamin D can help stop cancer cells in their tracks by replenishing E-cadherin. Once cancer growth is slowed, your immune system can begin to get ahead of the cancer cells, because it doesn’t have to deal with such an overabundance of them.
Serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light and falls with decreased sun exposure.
In 2006, scientists evaluated the effects of vitamin D on the mental health of 80 elderly patients and found those with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who received healthy doses.
Over the age of 50: As you get older your skin doesn’t make as much vitamin D in response to sun exposure. At the same time, your kidneys become less efficient at converting vitamin D into the form used by your body.
Older adults also tend to spend more time indoors (i.e. getting even less sun exposure and therefore vitamin D).
Gut Dysfunction: Since vitamin D is fat-soluble, if you have a gastrointestinal condition that affects your ability to absorb fat, you may have impaired absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D.
Optimizing your Vitamin Level: Optimizing Your Vitamin D Level Is a Simple, Inexpensive Disease Prevention Strategy
Prior to 2000, few doctors ever considered the possibility that you might be vitamin D deficient. But as the technology to measure vitamin D became inexpensive and widely available, it became increasingly clear that vitamin D deficiency is rampant, and that it is a major factor influencing cancer rates.
While statistics vary, it’s generally found that at least half of the U.S. population has insufficient amounts of vitamin D. Researchers have also noted that vitamin D deficiency is particularly prevalent in people who always wear sun protection (which blocks vitamin D production) or limit their outdoor activities.
Despite its name, vitamin D is not a regular vitamin. It’s actually a steroid hormone that you are designed to obtain primarily through sun exposure, not via your diet. While some foods do contain some vitamin D, either naturally or through fortification, it would be nearly impossible to get all the vitamin D you need from diet alone.