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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Carmel Aaron: Vitamin D-Vitamin or Hormone?

  • Vitamin D is known as an important immune booster, so let's see what it is and how it can defend and protect us.
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  • Fall is here, winter flu's are coming. Vitamin D is known as an important immune booster, so let's see what it is and how it can defend and protect us.
     
    For years we have considered D-3 to be a vitamin. As a matter-of-fact, it is usually just called Vitamin D. Now because of additional study and research, the experts are telling us it is more important than they ever thought.
     
    Notice the stages between health and illness-due to Vitamin D.
     
    High blood levels of vitamin D were found to protect even healthy people at a genetic level. Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine found that higher vitamin D levels in healthy individuals have a significant impact on the genes that are involved in several biologic pathways associated with illnesses, including cancer, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease and infectious diseases.
     
    One Expert says D is not a vitamin but a Sun Hormone:
     
    We've been taught that vitamin D is the bone vitamin but it is really more of a sun hormone. The word vitamin means something my body needs that I cannot make, so I must get it from food. D hormone is instead, a chemical that we make on our skin from sun exposure. It is a hormone like thyroid. Using the proper word hormone reminds us that it affects muitiple parts of the body and that it is not extra. It is essential to each and every cell in the body and it is not in our food.
     
    Weight Watchers note this:
     
    Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that vitamin D levels in the body at the start of a low-calorie diet predict weight loss success, suggesting a possible role for vitamin D in weight loss.
     
    According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, D-3 is:
     
    Vitamin D is not technically a vitamin. It is not an essential dietary factor; rather it is a pro-hormone produced on the skin. The structure of Vitamin D is more closely related to steroid hormones.
     
    Additional Reasons to make sure we are not deficient:
     
    It is crucial for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous, which have various functions, especially the maintenance of healthy bones.
     
    As stated, it is an immune regulator and booster.
     
    It may be important in arming the immune system against the common cold.
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    It may reduce the risk of developing multiple sclerosis.
     
    Vitamin D may have a key role in helping the brain to continue working well in later ilfe.
     
    It can reduce the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms.
     
    It has been shown to reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in women.
     
    A form of vitamin D could be one of our body's main protections against damage from low levels of radiation.
     
    Various studies have shown that people with adequate levels of vitamin D have a significantly lower risk of developing cancer, compared to people with lower levels. Vitamin D deficiency was found to be prevalent in cancer patients regardless of nutritional status-by Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
     
    Tuberculosis patients have been found to recover better when Vitamin D is added to their diet.
     
    An additional study published in Sept 2012 suggested that low levels of vitamin D may increase the risk of heart attack and early death.
     
    How to obtain Vitamin D
     
    Vitamin D is best obtained from sun exposure. Next best sources are food and supplements. It must undergo reactions to become active in the body.
     
    If you live far from the equator your sunlight exposure will be less during many months of the year.
     
    If your body cannot produce enough vitamin D because of insufficient sunlight exposure you will need to obtain it from foods and perhaps supplements. Some experts say that people with a high risk if vitamin D deficiency should consume 1000 IU of vitamin D each day so that there is a good level in the body. The elderly as well as dark skinned people should consume extra, but find out how much you need. You are unique.
     
    Dr. Mercola wrote that- for our protection Vitamin D is better than any vaccine.
     
    Whether you classify D-3 as a Vitamin or a Hormone, make sure you get enough to protect yourself and those you care about.
     
    Both you and those you love will be happy you did.
     
    References:
     
    Medicine News Today Mayo clinic Mercola.com
     
    Carmel Aaron lives in Heber Springs has a degree in biology and has been certified by Proevity in Nutrition and Glycemic Indexing. She can be reached at AWellnessCoach@Gmail.com)

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