Vitamin D Deficiency

About Sunshine and Vitamin D

What is a vitamin D deficiency? It is a shortage of vitamin D in our bodies. According to the Vitamin D Council a deficiency can cause birth defects, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, osteoporosis and strokes.

My wife and I used to live in western Kansas. In the wintertime occasionally we’d get 3 consecutive, overcast days with no sunshine. This made me sad and melancholy. Doctors have named this condition Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD).

At one time we lived where I had a south facing picture window. On sunny Sunday afternoons I could lay on a couch there and take a sunbath. I was curing the vitamin d deficiency that I didn’t know I had.

My long term cure was moving to Florida a year
or two later.

Exposure to sunlight creates vitamin D in our bodies.

There is some speculation that long term deprivation of sunlight can lead to chronic fatigue. About 25% of people who suffer with chronic pain are also vitamin d deficient. There may also be a link between Fibramyalgia and Vitamin D. A June 2008 study found that men who are deficient suffer 2.42 more heart attacks. Those with sufficient vitamin D reduce heart attack risk by 142%.

Who may be deficient in vitamin D?

• Those who live in Northern climates. Especially in Winter.

• Those who work inside and rarely go out.

• Those who avoid sunlight.

The only way to know for sure that your are deficient is to have a special 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. A home test can be ordered through the vitamin D Council for 65.00.

Sources of vitamin D:

Sunshine - Here’s a good reason to go outside and play. Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D.

Foods High in Vitamin D - Cod Liver Oil, Salmon, Mackerel, Tuna and other fish. It’s not found in sufficient quantities in most other foods. If you find a packaged non fish food high it vitamin D it’s most likely because the food has had artificial (synthetic) vitamin D added. See our article on how food labels lie.

Full Spectrum Light Therapy - Effective for shut-in’s, those in northern climates, indoors workers, and anyone suffering from (SAD) seasonal affective disorder.

Supplementation - There is a growing consensus that supplementation is essential for those in Northern climates, and for those with little time in the sun. It has been assumed that supplementation was a cure for low vitamin D levels. A January 08 report in Science Daily now says that supplements may have the opposite effect of sunshine and instead suppress the immune system.
Source: Autoimmunity Research Foundation. "Vitamin D Deficiency Study Raises New Questions About Disease And Supplements." ScienceDaily 27 January 2008

Could the problem being detected be the Synthetic Vitamin D supplements? It may be as synthetic vitamins are not necessarily recognized by the body. The vitamin D 2 used in most supplements has been proven ineffective. Some research says that chemicals from synthetic vitamins are harmful.

New Experimental Solutions - The Mushroom Council is working with the FDA on a new solution. The proposed natural solution is to take white button mushrooms grown in the dark and expose them to light for 5 minutes. Initial tests are encouraging. Mushrooms are the only plants that contain vitamin D. source: FDA

For me, I get out in the sun every day to get my vitamin D and if my dog’s lucky I take him for a walk as well.

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