Original article in PDF

August/September 2015

 

THE SUNSHINE VITAMIN

Science doesn’t stand still. New discoveries and research are very useful, but they often border on absurdity.

For example, hysteria about the harm of ultraviolet radiation. Sunlight is necessary for the life of all living creatures! The human body produces essential vitamin D only when exposed to ultraviolet.

Details about the miracle vitamin and its relationship with the sun are provided for Y&W by Makpal.

We all know that vitamin D is a wonderful remedy for preventing rickets. At the same time, it is one of the most important vitamins that participates in all of the body’s metabolic processes. Vitamin D receptors are found in almost every cell of the human body, from the brain to bones of the skeleton. A good level of this vitamin contributes to strong immunity, hormonal balance and harmonious work of all systems and organs without exception!

According to statistics, about 1 billion people in the world suffer from an obvious or hidden vitamin D deficiency. Today, vitamin D is the center of attention of the world scientific community. The wide range of its impact is really amazing. This miracle vitamin is vital not only for bone health and absorption of calcium. Its deficit can provoke the following diseases: brain disorder, heart diseases, stroke, various infections (from flu to tuberculosis), type 1 and 2 diabetes, dementia, depression, insomnia, muscle weakness, osteoarthritis, articular rheumatism, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, hypertension…

 

On Guard for Hormones and Viruses

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone, its level affects the endocrine profile of the whole body, regulating hormones and genes, it is directly linked to DNA. A sufficient level of vitamin D activates a gene that stops chronic inflammation in the body, and therefore almost 80% of all diseases. Vitamin D effectively defeats flu and is the best way to prevent it, as it regulates genes that affect the immune system and increase the production of antimicrobial peptides that destroy the cell walls of viruses and bacteria. A low level of vitamin D (not the viruses around us) is the real cause of seasonal flu epidemics. Vitamin D is activated in the body by the kidneys and liver. Diseases of these organs significantly reduce the activation of the vitamin. Pain and discomfort when pressing the sternum mean greater likelihood of a chronic vitamin D deficiency.

 

Friend of the Sun

The main source of vitamin D is sunlight. Imagine this amazing process: ultraviolet lands on your skin, and response, the body produces vitamin D and stores it for future use. As a result of this interaction, the level of antimicrobial lymphocytes (white blood cells) increases.

A young and healthy person needs 10-20 minutes of exposure to the sun to produce a good level of vitamin D in the body. But after age 30, the ability to generate this vitamin is significantly reduced. Even if you live in the south and get enough sunlight, excess weight, exposure to stress, chronic diseases and the use of sunscreens result in the depletion of vitamin D stores in the body. During seasonal outbreaks of influenza and acute respiratory viral infection, we rapidly exhaust reserves of this vitamin accumulated in summer. Chronic deficiency cannot be eliminated in a week of vacation by the sea.

What’s interesting is that dark-skinned people have a higher level of melanin, which blocks UVB radiation and limits the body’s ability to produce vitamin D. They need to spend 3-4 times longer in the sun than fair-skinned people. That’s why prostate cancer (caused by vitamin D deficiency) is common among dark-skinned men, for example.

Before the discovery of antibiotics, sun baths were used in medicine as an effective tool in the treatment of tuberculosis. In 1903, Dr. Auguste Rollier began to treat his patients in Switzerland with sun baths, and was so successful that many hospitals in the world subsequently accepted his method of treatment.

A person’s usual diet does little to compensate the body’s need for this vitamin. It is impossible to raise a low level of vitamin D to the optimum only with the help of food (milk, eggs, fish oil). A 15-minute sun bath can produce up to 10,000 UI of vitamin D, which is a good dose for the body. That’s why we feel better and happier in the sun Make friends with the sun!

Although cosmeticians today recommend the use of sunscreens, even weak products with SPF 8 block the body’s ability to produce vitamin D by 95%. Fear of skin cancer and early aging are the main reasons for all the hysteria about the harm of being in the sun. At the same time, there is no confirmed scientific evidence that moderate sun baths significantly increase the risk of tumors and a deadly form of cancer – melanoma. But of course, you need to avoid sunburns. In this situation, it’s better to be guided by common sense. I believe that the danger of being in the sun is greatly exaggerated, and the benefits are underestimated.

 

One for Two

It’s very important for pregnant women to get the necessary amount of vitamin D by spending some time in the sun or making up for it with quality supplements. We often hear stories about the unsuccessful outcome of post-term pregnancy, and doctors cannot always explain what adversely affected the course of pregnancy. Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Health Sciences discovered that low levels of vitamin D are the main cause of eclampsia – a disease characterized by a sharp increase in blood pressure and swelling of the limbs, leading to premature birth and death of the newborn or mother (70% of deaths in developing countries and 15% in developed countries). This fact was unknown until 2007.

 

Flowers of Life

In my workshops, I often ask adults to pay attention to the optimal level of vitamin D in children’s bodies. A good level of vitamin D in children will help us a lot in forming the healthy generation in the future. Recent studies show that children born with a vitamin D deficiency and retaining this deficiency in the first months of life are more likely to get many chronic diseases in the future, including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and various forms of cancer. We can change the terrible statistics on the increase in the number of patients with childhood diabetes and autoimmune diseases. During studies in Finland in 1960, a group of children received 2,000 UI of vitamin D daily during their first year of life. Those children were under the supervision of researchers for 31 years. The result was as follows: the risk of children with type 1 diabetes was reduced by 78%, while in the other group of children observed during that period, but having a serious vitamin D deficiency, the risk was increased by 300%.

Pay attention to symptoms in your child that indicate a low level of vitamin D in the body: frequent colds and acute respiratory viral infections, curvature of the spine, introversion, depression, gloominess, poor school performance, decreased immunity, autoimmune diseases…

 

A Lot or a Little?

A blood test for the level of vitamin D3 in the body is called Vitamin D 25-hydroxy or 25 (OH) D. It can be done in any laboratory all over the world. The sample for analysis is taken from a vein on an empty stomach. I want to warn you: many laboratories have still not switched from long-obsolete standards (for example, 20-56 ng/ml (50-149 nmol/l)) to modern standards necessary for health and protection against cancer.

Compare your result with the following figures:

  • deficiency <50ng/ml;
  • optimal level of 50-65ng/ml;
  • cancer prevention 65-90ng/ml;
  • excess > 100ng/ml.

 

A result below 35 ng/ml shows that calcium, magnesium and other minerals are not digested, and the likelihood of a heart attack increases by almost 50%, for example. A result below 20 ng/ml indicates a serious deficiency, which increases the risk of many diseases, including autoimmune diseases.

It is recommended to conduct this analysis at least twice The first time to learn the initial result, the second – to understand how quickly it rises and to what level. Do not start taking vitamin D supplements without the analysis, because the results will indicate your optimal dose. An overdose of vitamin D can be toxic to the body! It’s important to calculate the dosage correctly, and is best done by a specialist. So don’t rush to recommend vitamin D to friends and acquaintances, or to stuff children and relatives with it. Even if you know the results of the analysis, their bodies are most likely not ready to assimilate the vitamin. Without a sufficient amount of vitamin K2, magnesium and calcium, you can get a reverse reaction – calcification of blood vessels and weakening of bones.

In case of diseases such as sarcoidosis, tuberculosis or lymphoma, it is recommended to conduct another analysis of 1.25 (OH) D. And only then, under the supervision of a doctor, the duration of sun exposure should be increased, or vitamin D should be taken as a supplement. In case of diseases of the kidneys or liver, vitamin D should be prescribed only by a doctor or a nutritionist. The natural version of vitamin D produced by the body is called cholecalciferol in supplements.

With this data on the beneficial properties of vitamin D, I hope you will begin to monitor your health more closely.

The widely known study by Dr. William Grant shows that about 30% of annual cancer deaths (about 2 million people) could be prevented simply by increasing the level of vitamin D.

There are about 30,000 genes in the human body. Vitamin D affects more than 2,000 of them. This is one of the main reasons why achieving the optimal level is so important for disease prevention. Vitamin D promotes differentiation of cells and reduces the growth of new blood vessels, which can facilitate the transition of “sleeping” tumors to cancerous tumors. By maintaining it at 200 nmol/l, the risk of breast cancer in women is reduced by 77%.

The optimal level of vitamin D is one way of preventing cancer

 

Seven Sunny Pieces of Advice:

Getting the skin used to the sun should be gradual. You need to build up a protective skin barrier against ultraviolet radiation by regularly and gradually increasing the amount of time spent in the sun. The ideal option is to sunbathe daily during your walks in the fresh air and then apply organic sunscreen to the whole body 20-40 minutes after the received dose of vitamin D.

It’s much more dangerous to completely avoid sunlight, as tanned skin protects against burns and provides natural protection against excess vitamin D. By receiving a regular and moderate dose of ultraviolet, you significantly reduce the likelihood of melanoma.

The first sun bath should not exceed 5-20 minutes if you have a fair skin. Dark-skinned people have a higher level of melanin, which blocks UVB radiation and limits the body’s ability to produce vitamin D. Therefore, they need to spend 3-4 times longer in the sun to generate the same amount of vitamin D than people with fair skin.

Morning and evening sunlight is the safest: during these periods the ultraviolet wavelength is the most optimal and does not cause sunburns.

Avoid sunburns of the skin! They provoke skin cancer – melanoma. Intense burning and redness of the skin will not increase the production of vitamin D, but can harm it at the cellular level. Try to take more antioxidants during holidays – green juices or smoothies, fruit, goji berries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries. People whose diet is rich in antioxidants, get sunburned much less often. Be sure to take Omega-3 fatty acids, since a lack of them in the body increases the likelihood of skin cancer more than the sun.

Sunlight penetrates best and is absorbed by the skin through the face, neck, hands, back and chest.

Sunscreens block the penetration of sunlight through the skin; hence they prevent the formation of vitamin D. Under the influence of ultraviolet, their synthetic components create a particularly dangerous toxic cocktail in the body! It takes 26 seconds for this poison to reach all vital organs. The largest amount of toxic substances penetrates through the skin! Therefore, buy sunscreens that do not contain heavy metals and toxic substances in organic stores.

The main source of vitamin D is sunlight. Ultraviolet gets on your skin, and in response, the body produces vitamin D and stores it for future use. As a result, the level of antimicrobial lymphocytes increases.