Benefits of Vitamin D

We have all heard that Vitamin D was once linked to only bone diseases such as rickets and osteoporosis but did you know that now it is being recognized as a major player in overall human health?

Having Multiple Sclerosis myself, I know how important Vitamin D is for the possible prevention of MS. Although the body can make all the vitamin D it needs from the sun’s rays, most of us become deficient during the winter months when, in areas north of Atlanta, the sun doesn’t get high enough in the sky for UV rays to penetrate the atmosphere. I was born and raised in the Cleveland area. Previous research found that those who lived in northern regions with less sunlight had higher rates of MS. And a 2004 study, also from Harvard, showed that those who took vitamin D supplements had a lower risk of the disease. Vitamin D is thought to modulate immune system to keep it from attacking healthy tissues and organs.

New research shows that scientists are beginning to realize vitamin D is involved in maintaining the health of your brain, as they’ve recently discovered vitamin D receptors in your brain, spinal cord, and central nervous system. (In fact, there are 36 organ tissues in your body whose cells respond biologically to vitamin D, including bone marrow, breast, colon, intestine, kidney, lung, prostate, retina, skin, stomach and uterine tissues.)

Now, studies are showing that Vitamin D may not only benefit your brain, but also Alzheimer’s disease. From what I have read, Scientists launched a study after family members of Alzheimer’s patients who were treated with large doses of prescription vitamin D reported that they were acting and performing better than before. Researchers believe that optimal vitamin D levels may enhance the amount of important chemicals in your brain and protect brain cells.

In 2007 researchers at the University of Wisconsin uncovered strong links between low levels of vitamin D in Alzheimer’s patients and poor outcomes on cognitive tests.  There’s even evidence showing vitamin D improves your brain’s detoxification process.For children and pregnant women, getting enough vitamin D is therefore especially crucial, as it may play a major role in protecting infants’ brains from autism. Since being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1993, I have read and studied anything and everything I can that can possibly help me with this disease.  I personally have added Vitamin D to my daily regimen of vitamins I take.  

Are you aware that several studies have correlated tooth loss with development of cognitive impairment? There are two primary ways that people lose teeth: dental caries and periodontal disease. Both conditions are linked to low vitamin D levels.

What are your best sources for Vitamin D?

  • Exposing your skin to sunlight is the best way to get vitamin D.

Sun exposure (without sunscreen) until your skin turns the lightest shade of pink is a general guide of how much you need.  For most people, this will be about ten to fifteen minutes a day, with at least 40% of your skin exposed.

  • Most of us have days during which we are unable to get enough sun exposure. That is where taking a high-quality vitamin D supplement comes in.  I personally purchase mine from a company called Natures Sunshine Products located in Utah. You can go on line to: www.naturessunshine.com to order. If you are interested in purchasing this with up to a 40% discount, please send me an e-mail and I will give you the necessary information.

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