Vitamin D is essential for optimal functioning of our body. 70% of the American children do not get enough vitamin D, showed two recent studies published in The Journal of Pediatrics. This lack of vitamin D poses a risk of overweight, diabetes, high blood pressure, decreased good cholesterol levels and a risk of heart disease in their more mature years. 9% of them had deficiency of vitamin D and 61% didn’t have sufficient amount of it.
How vitamin D regulates cells and genes?
Vitamin D is beneficial for our health and reduces the growth of the cells (which promotes cancer) and aids cell differentiation (this way the cell are in anti-cancer state) which makes it one of the most powerful cancer protectors. All this clarifies how the lack of it can cause prostate, breast and ovarian cancer.
The cellular receptor sends messages to our genes thus controlling various functions such as protecting from cancer, decreasing inflammation, improving mood, relieving muscle pain and fibromyalgia and building bones. Vitamin D acts on this cellular receptor. So, when we lack vitamin D it affects every area of our biology because of its impact on our cells and genes function.
Under sunlight our body produces vitamin D (80-100% is got from the sun) which makes our skin slightly red. This way it produces in our bodies the equivalent of 10,000 – 25,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D. The problem is that many of us don’t expose themselves directly on sunlight as they use sunscreen.
Sunscreen prevents skin cancer but unfortunately also block 97% of the creation of vitamin D in our bodies. Furthermore, as we age the skin produces less and less vitamin D. Also, dark-skinned people and people from cultures that propagate skin coverage like Orthodox Jews and Muslims produce less vitamin D.
People don’t know what is the recommended amount of vitamin D. The recommended dose by the government is 200-600 IU which is enough to prevent rickets (a disease you get from lack of vitamin D).
Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine, psychology and dermatology at Boston University School of medicine, carried out a research that showed that the consumption of 2,000 IU per day is sufficient to maintain blood levels of 25 hidroxy vitamin D at between 75-125 nmol/L.
It is safe, even though it seems high. People from counties in which sun exposure is about 10,000 IU per day have blood levels of vitamin D of 105-163 nmol/L. Autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes, sclerosis, inflammatory bowel movement, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are very rare in those countries.