Vitamin D has been monopolizing health headlines for awhile now.  Though technically not a vitamin, but rather a  hormone, Vitamin D has now been linked to a multitude of diseases.  This includes the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more.  It hasn’t been until the past several years that this vitamin has gained the respect of doctors and researchers, as to how well our bodies can function with it and how poorly it functions without it.  Its metabolic product, calcitriol targets over 2000 genes in the human body.  That figure puts Vitamin D in a position of having some very profound health implications.

It’s no surprise that Vitamin D deficiency is so common in our nation.  It has been ingrained in our heads by the medical community that the sun is bad.  “Stay out of the sun because it can cause cancer!” While this is true, one only needs to use common sense:  bask, don’t bake.  Moderation is key.  If you are an average American, you live most of your life indoors;  inside the office, inside your car, inside your home while sitting on the computer, watching tv, playing video games.  We are becoming products of our society and it’s taking a tremendous toll on our health.

So what can you do?  To find out if you’re deficient, ask you doctor to order you a blood test called 25-hydroxyvitamin D.  Your doctor should be willing to order this for you based upon all of the research that is being done and published in the medical journals.  If you’re not able to get one from your doctor, then you can order an inexpensive Vitamin D test kit here that you can do at home.  If your blood level is less than 50 ng/ml, you are considered deficient.  The optimal level is between 50 and 65 ng/ml.  If you are going through some serious health issues, though, your levels should be between 65-90 ng/ml. 

If you find that you’re deficient, Vitamin D is easy enough to get.  Spending 20-30 minutes out in the mid-day sun produces approximately 20,000 IU of Vitamin D.  The government recommended daily amount (although probably too low) is only 400IU.  Vitamin D is also available through supplementation.  When supplementing, it’s important to take it in the form of Vitamin D3 (please note that this is not the form in milk, which is D2).  This is the natural occuring form of Vitamin D.  Your local health food store will have this supplement available, or you can order it here.

This is what one prominent researcher has to say about Vitamin D: 

“Because vitamin D is so cheap and so clearly reduces all-cause mortality, I can say this with great certainty: Vitamin D represents the single most cost-effective medical intervention in the United States. ”

So what are you waiting for?  Get off this website and go outside!