Vitamin D-The Sunshine Vitamin

Vitamin D is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it needs water to dissolve and to be used by our body. It is produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from the sun hit the skin.


Vitamin D is called the Sunshine Vitamin. A cholesterol compound found in the skin, converts to a precursor of vitamin D. This is just one more reason why we NEED cholesterol. One full body UV exposure causing a slight pinkness in the skin is equivalent to an oral intake of 10,000–25,000 IU of vitamin D3.


Benefits

  • Aids in normal bone growth

  • Builds energy

  • Regulates heart action

  • Effective in clotting the blood

  • Allows for better absorption of minerals

  • Promotes healthy eyes

  • Nourishes the thyroid gland

  • Promotes calcium absorption in the gut

  • Helps prevent hypocalcemic tetany

  • Along with calcium, helps protect older adults from osteoporosis

  • With high doses, has been shown to reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis

  • Has anti-cancer benefits

  • Regulates insulin levels in diabetics

  • Supports cardiovascular health and regulates blood pressure


Foods that provide vitamin D

  • Butter

  • Eggs

  • Sardines

  • Fish liver oils

  • Tuna

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Raw milk


Herbs that provide vitamin D

  • Alfalfa

  • Bee pollen

  • Fenugreek

  • Red raspberry

  • Rose hips

  • Papaya


Signs of deficiency

  • Fatigue

  • Depression

  • Defective teeth

  • Infections

  • Imperfect bone structure

  • Muscle weakness and/or pain

  • Heart Disease

  • Increased risk of osteoporosis

  • Increased fractures

  • Linked to breast and colon cancer

  • Rickets in children/Osteomalacia in adults

  • Increased risk of schizophrenia

  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes

  • Linked to autism, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer's disease

  • Increased risk of stroke and congestive heart failure


Avoid

  • Sunscreens with vitamin A. Government studies show spreading vitamin A on your skin may cause tumors and lesions to develop sooner with creams laced with vitamin A, aka as retinyl palmitate or retinol.

  • Sunscreens with oxybenzone, a synthetic estrogen, which penetrates the skin and can disrupt the hormone system.

Look for sunscreens with zinc oxide, 3% avobenzone or Mexoryl SX. They protect the skin from UVA radiation. Go to EWG.org to see how your sunscreen ranks.


Research Shows

Strength and balance are linked to optimal vitamin D levels. A 2006 study reported that 700 IU daily reduced falls in women by 46%.


Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin D. (n.d.). Retrieved May 14, 2020, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/

Hovis, B. S. (n.d.). Vitamins & Minerals. Retrieved May 11, 2020, from https://trinityschool.instructure.com/courses/499/pages/week-1-lecture-3-vitamins-and-minerals

Engelsen, O. (2010, May). The relationship between ultraviolet radiation exposure and vitamin D status. Retrieved May 14, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257661/

Ameling, L. (n.d.). Women's Health. Retrieved May 14, 2020, from https://trinityschool.instructure.com/courses/578/pages/week-1-lecture-womens-health

Vitamin D and your health: Breaking old rules, raising new hopes. (n.d.). Retrieved May 14, 2020, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/vitamin-d-and-your-health-breaking-old-rules-raising-new-hopes

EWG's 2019 Guide to Safer Sunscreens. (n.d.). Retrieved May 14, 2020, from https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/top-sun-safety-tips/