Natural healing: Benefits of Vitamin D – Ruidoso News
We have been looking at nutrition and how deficiencies can interfere with the body’s ability to heal. Last week we took a look at the very basics, oxygen and water.
I want to start our discussion today with vitamin D.
Vitamin D is interesting because there are two distinct processes necessary to transform this vitamin into a usable form. The vitamin D must first be ingested, it is found in meat, dairy and some grains. However, the form of vitamin D you eat does you no good without sunlight. One of the effects of sunlight on our skin is the conversion of vitamin D into its usable form. For us in the mountains, particularly in the winter, this may be an issue.
Vitamin D regulates thirty six proteins involved in brain development and deficiencies have been linked with autism. Vitamin D is critical to bone mass, and deficiencies lead to osteoporosis in adults and rickets in children. Perhaps the most misunderstood function of vitamin D is what it does for your immune system. The Journal of Epidemiology and Infection published a study in 2007 which tracked vitamin D blood levels over a three year period. The results showed that taking 800 IU of vitamin D reduced the incidence of colds and flus by 70 percent and taking 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day reduced the incidence of colds and flus to nearly zero! Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with autoimmune disease and cancer, all due to its effect on the immune system. Vitamin D use can be even more complicated in our body in that the vitamin D receptor that our cells use to absorb vitamin D is the sight of a very common genetic mutation.
If there is a vitamin D receptor genetic mutation the body may have a continually compromised immune system. This can lead to increased colds, flus, sensitivities to molds, allergies, chronic viral infection, autoimmune disease and ever cancer, not to mention bone density issues.
So what we do with vitamin D? Well the first best defense is to get some sun. Twenty minutes a day of sun exposure will go a long way to get vitamin D levels up. Of course, the sun needs to actually touch your skin, so bathing suit attire is necessary. If consistent sun exposure is not going to happen, supplement 800 to 2,000 I.U. of vitamin D3 per day. If you have a history of chronic infection, environmental sensitivity or autoimmune disease; particularly if any of these run in your family, I definitely recommend getting your genetics tested. The genetic information could show a vitamin D receptor issue that can be very well addressed once identified.
Dr. Joseph Fraley D.C. is the owner of Alpha Omega Chiropractic at 106 Alpine Village Rd. Contact him at 575-258-5999.