Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Testing for Vitamin D deficiency jumps by 80% over the past year!

Finally, conventional medicine is recognizing the importance of Vitamin D since a number of recent studies have shown that many Americans are deficient. Vitamin D is important for many different reasons. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, Vitamin D is important for absorption of calcium, modulation of the immune system, insulin secretion, blood pressure regulation, and for the prevention of muscle weakness, autoimmune disease and cancer.

So what is the best source of vitamin D for the human body? If you are like many, you would be surprised to learn from the sun! That’s right, good ole’ Mr. Sunshine. But the irony is that many of us do not get ENOUGH sunshine because we live in a society that is infatuated with dousing on sunscreen. One application of SPF 8 decreases absorption of Vitamin D by 95%. Now, sunscreen definitely has it place for use, especially, if you are going to be out in direct sunlight for long periods of time. However, too many people are applying this stuff all over their body day in and day out when the only sun exposure they get is walking from their car to the office and back into the car to go home. This is just ludicrous! The state of Arizona, land of the sun, is actually leading the US in the number of children who are deficient in vitamin D. EVERYONE should be getting at least 10-15 minutes of sun exposure 3-4 times a week to major body parts. Also, why are we not talking about other preventative ways like how our diet makes us more susceptible to skin cancer? After all, there are numerous studies illustrating how a diet high in Omega 6 oils and low in Omega 3 oils increase the chances of developing melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) and most Americans are not getting enough Omega 3s which, by the way, helps make a stronger heart and brain! Lastly, we must look at the long-term use of certain prescription drugs and how they can affect vitamin D levels. Phenytoin (Dilantin), fosphenytoin (Cerebyx), Phenobarbital (Luminal), carbamazepine (Tegretol), rifampin (Rimactane) and ketoconazole all have been shown to decrease Vitamin D levels.

There are many people who get melanoma that have never been sun worshippers. Maybe we need to be looking at other possible contributors besides Mr. Sunshine and remember that approximately 10,000 deaths occur due to skin cancer every year in the United States but around 13,000 deaths occur due to some sort of Vitamin D deficiency!


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