Should you take Vitamin D?
Due to sunscreen use and staying indoors on computers, it is estimated that 70% of people in the U.S. are deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D, known as the sunshine vitamin, plays a vital role throughout our body. It builds bones and muscles, helps our immune system, and the lack of it has been connected to cardiovascular health, diabetes, dementia and memory loss, even to cancer.
One of the things I learned in the research for my book WTF?! I Have Cancer?, was that Vitamin D actually activates the cancer-killer T cells in the immune system. Nearly every cell and tissue in our body has Vitamin D receptors. Vitamin D affects our moods, our digestion, and those all important gut bacteria.
We typically get Vitamin D from sunshine on our skin. But given that we are spending so much time indoors (especially in February), and since we are apparently almost all deficient, it’s a good idea to supplement.
The U.S. Government RDA of 600 IU per day was created as a bare minimum to prevent scurvy. Research is showing that we need much more than that. Dr. Steven Gundry, a renowned cardiologist, is recommending much higher levels to his patients with auto-immune disease. He has even recommended 150,000 IU a day for 3 days in a row to help patients with the flu or the common cold.
Are you worried about toxicity? In his groundbreaking book, The Vitamin D Solution, Michael Holick, PhD, MD, describes a study he with Dr. Heaney did in 2002 that showed that you can take up to 10,000 IU of vitamin D a day for almost a half a year and not worry about vitamin D intoxication. He says all teenagers and adults can easily tolerate 10,000 IU of vitamin D a day without concern for toxicity.
Vitamin D3 is the one you want to be taking to supplement because it is more readily absorbed and available in the body as opposed to Vitamin D2 (commonly added to milk). You can get Vitamin D3 in gel caps, tablets or liquid droppers in 1,000, 2,000 5,000 or 10,000 IU. I like the gel caps the best and take 5,000 or 10,000 IU a day. Cancer patients are particularly susceptible to Vitamin D deficiency because they are told to not be in the sun due to their chemotherapy. This is doubly detrimental given the cancer fighting benefits of Vitamin D.
It’s a good idea for us all to go outside more often, but depending on where you live, like me outside rainy Seattle, you wouldn’t get enough Vitamin D if you spent hours outdoors. With so many benefits, this little pill is a good one to take.