Vitamin D – WHY THIS SUPER VITAMIN IS VITAL TO OUR HEALTH
What a start to 2022 it has been! Rain, rain, rain (with a side-order of rain!).
Fortunately for all of us, the boffins at the Bureau of Meteorology have indicated that current modelling predicts that a return to a neutral La Niña/El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is finally on the horizon. Which in layman’s terms means that La Niña’s weird weather patterns are estimated to run out of puff in the next month. So bring on the sun!
Talking of the sun, or rather the lack of it, we here at Clinic 27 thought today might be a great time to remind everyone of the importance of Vitamin D. Because it is a much-overlooked vitamin that is vital to our health and wellbeing.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a collection of molecules, made in our skin or absorbed from food. It starts off as inactive Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) or Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol). It then travels to the liver where is it packaged into the circulating form of Vitamin D known as Calcifediol. This is what doctors measure when they order a Vitamin D blood test. Calcifediol is then unpacked in the kidneys where it becomes the active form of Vitamin D known as Calcitriol, which is over 100 times more potent that Calcifediol.
Why is Vitamin D important?
Vitamin D is a crucial component in bone (and spinal) health. Without it, we run the risk of stress fractures. With it, we ensure our bones maintain their strength and recover from daily stresses more easily. Coupled with Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium and Vitamin K2, it is not just necessary for older folk, but for every human being in every stage of life.
Endocrinologists regard Vitamin D as a hormone, as it has major functions in your mitochondria (the energy-producing factory). Vitamin D aids in Calcium absorption and in keeping balanced Calcium levels in your blood. Where Vitamin D is absent, the parathyroid hormone kicks in to do the job of keeping the Calcium levels in the blood balanced, which means drawing Calcium from bones where necessary.
Vitamin D also induces microphages (the first defenders) in your body, thus protecting you from illness, and bettering your mortality. It is a powerful epigenetic regulator, influencing more than 2,500 genes, so its importance should not be underestimated.
So, we are told we need our vitamins, but we are also told that taking vitamin supplements are a waste of money. How do we know if we are having too much or too little Vitamin D?
Are Vitamin D supplements necessary?
Vitamin D has been shown to not only facilitate bone healing, regulation of blood pressure and improvement of mental capacities, but to help protect you from bone fractures, some types of cancer, Type I Diabetes, and anxiety and depression.
Vitamin D is fat-soluble, which means any excess Vitamin D you consume remains in your body and is released slowly over time. It is not flushed out the way water-soluble vitamins are.
Sources of Vitamin D
Despite Vitamin D fortification in food (particularly dairy) products, the prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in most developed countries is high – particularly in temperate climates where sun exposure is relatively limited during the colder seasons of autumn and winter.
This brings up an important correlation between Vitamin D and sun exposure. Most people do not have enough sun exposure to enable sufficient production of Vitamin D by the body, and for those who are exposed to the sun a lot, sunblock and sunscreens (while helpful in impeding UV damage from the sun’s rays) decrease one’s natural Vitamin D production from the sun.
Vitamin D is also naturally occurring in foods such as fatty fish, beef liver, egg yolks, fortified milk, cereal and supplements.
It is recommended that individuals take a maintenance dose of 800 – 1000 IU of Vitamin D daily. A higher dose is advised in the case of Vitamin D deficient individuals. Also Vitamin D is best taken with Vitamin K2 and Calcium for maximum absorption. Vitamin D3 is preferred over Vitamin D2.
Inability to respond to pathogens (viruses and bacteria)
Osteomalacia (the softening of bones)
Multiple stress fractures (an indication of poor bone healing), even in the ribs and spine
Impaired wound healing
Insulin resistance (leading to weight gain and obesity, and/or Type I Diabetes)
Viral lung infections
Chronic inflammatory diseases
Vitamin D receptors are present in every immune system cell and severe Vitamin D deficiencies have been shown to have a positive correlation with increased incidence of colon, prostate and pancreatic cancers. Other studies have identified low vitamin D levels as a risk factor for more severe fibromyalgia symptoms, anxiety, and depression.
Who is at most risk of Vitamin D deficiency?
Dark skinned individuals
Individuals with limited sun exposure
Individuals living in polluted environments
Why do we need Vitamin D now?
The last 2 years have seen many people spend less time outdoors than usual. With Covid-19 travel restrictions, lockdowns, quarantine, many of you might have been confined to their homes for extended periods, and unable to see family, friends and workmates. Recent rainfall and floods would have meant less sunlight, less time outdoors and more isolation from loved ones.
It is essential in instances such as the ones we’ve been faced with in recent times for us to get crucial Vitamin D to help fight depression, regulate our moods, raise our immunity and protect our bone health.
The Chiropractors at Clinic 27 are dedicated to helping our clients improve their quality of life by achieving better results, faster. We highly recommend Vitamin D3 daily and regular adjustments to keep your spines strong and healthy. Call Clinic 27 today to start your journey towards a happier you.
Get in touch with us today through the Contact Us form.