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Health - The Sunshine Vitamin

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The Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D is often called the "sunshine vitamin” because the human body produces it when the sun’s ultraviolet rays strike the skin. It promotes the intestines’ ability to absorb calcium and other important minerals. This sunlight derived Vitamin D is impacted by exposure factors including, season, geography, time of day, cloud cover and sunscreen.

It has been shown that maintaining adequate blood vitamin D levels may prevent colon cancer and many other maladies . Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that can be found in some foods and can also be made your body during exposure to ultraviolet UV light from the sun. There are only a few commonly consumed food sources of vitamin D, thus making sunlight the most important source of vitamin D at our disposal.

Vitamin D & Colon Cancer
Researchers have found a relationship between higher vitamin D blood levels and less colorectal tumors. Vitamin D appears to interact with the immune system to prevent the growth of colorectal tumors. It also appears that vitamin D prolongs survival time in people with metastasized colon cancer.

The study showed that patients having the lowest vitamin D levels survived for an average of 25 months. By comparison, patients with the highest vitamin D levels survived for an average of 33 months. That’s 33 percent longer! The higher vitamin D levels delayed progression of the cancer from 10 to 12 months. Who says vitamins are worthless?

Vitamin D May Also Help
Low vitamin D has also been linked to poorer recovery after major surgery. A recent study measured the vitamin D levels of ICU patients. Patients with low vitamin D blood levels spent more time on artificial respiratory support. Mechanical ventilation is linked to a number of adverse effects, so getting off those breathing machines is a critical goal. Vitamin D helps!

Low vitamin D aggravates asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Conversely, it is known that boosting vitamin D levels improves lung function.

It appears that vitamin D inhibits lung inflammation and boosts the immune system to defend against respiratory bacteria and viruses. A balanced immune system is critical to decrease inflammation, and defends against microbes.

Experts on the subject say that 5,000 IU of vitamin D daily is just a starting point. Even better, consider combining it with astaxanthin a powerful antioxidant, most people can safely take up to 20,000 IU daily of vitamin D for the duration of any illness. This will help your immune system more effectively fight the infection. Vitamin D supplementation is crucial.

*The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies has developed a recommended daily intake of vitamin D, assuming minimal sun exposure:
• For those between 1 and 70 years of age, including women who are pregnant or lactating, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is 600 IU daily.
• For those 71 years or older, the RDA is 800 IU daily.
• For infants, the IOM could not determine an RDA due to a lack of data. However, the IOM set an adequate intake level of 400 IU daily, which should provide sufficient vitamin D.

As you can see, the RDA is woefully less than what experts and front-line practitioners recommend.

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