Thursday, April 4, 2013

A-Z Challenge ~ VITAMIN D (Letter D)

I’m participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge. I’ve decided I’ll be blogging about natural health and beauty because it’s something I’m really interested in and something I haven’t written about before on this blog. Please remember that I’m not a qualified doctor or natural health practitioner. What I blog about is entirely my own opinion.


VITAMIN D

Word of warning… this post could be rambling. I’m a huge advocate of Vitamin D for myself but, as always, the views expressed in these posts are wholly my own opinion. And, you know, I’m a weirdo. :)

Rewind to 2006. I got a blood test done for employment purposes. I hadn’t had a blood test in… well, I couldn’t remember ever getting a blood test done before that. I figured everything would be fine. And it was. Except that I was told that I had very low Vitamin D.

The doctor didn’t seem too concerned about my low Vitamin D levels. She just said that I should go out in the sun more often. The big challenge is, of course, that living in Australia, we are constantly bombarded with PSAs about skin cancer and wearing hats, sunscreen and other protective gear whenever we are outside. In fact, as a teacher, I teach this to my students all the time. It is even considered sensible to wear hats and sunscreen in the middle of winter. Now I’m not saying that is the wrong message to be giving – because it’s not, skin cancer is a VERY real and dangerous thing – but it does mean that lots of sunsmart people are finding themselves deficient in the sunshine vitamin. And I’ll be honest. I didn’t think much of being deficient in Vitamin D back in 2006. I had always been taught to be vigilant about other things, such as calcium, iron, cholesterol levels, sugar etc. Never Vitamin D. I didn’t even know why my body needed it.

But here’s the thing.

Turns out that Vitamin D is *crazy* important.

It used to be thought that Vitamin D was only important for preventing childhood diseases like rickets. However, it is now thought to offer a whole host of benefits, including: boosting the immune system, preventing multiple sclerosis, assisting brain function later in life, preventing cancers, heart disease and early death (amongst other things). The current RDA is 400iU per day. However, it is believed that this number will be re-evaluated in the upcoming years and the RDA will be raised. And if you’re going to supplement, the best type to take is Vitamin D3. D2 is not absorbed as well into the body and, as a result, it may not raise your levels. It is also prudent to note that, if you do go out in the sun a lot and your D levels are still low, there could be an underlying reason why your body is not absorbing the vitamin, e.g. Celiac.

My D levels are now in the optimal range and I have noticed two great side effects from it. 1) My eyelashes have grown a lot longer and 2) The skin on my face doesn’t get dry anymore. Weird, huh? I can only attribute it to upping my Vitamin D.

Until tomorrow xx

6 comments:

Heidi Mannan said...

OMG, I'm totally going to start taking vitamin D... I want longer lashes! It is very important. All the doctors prescribed it when my son's gut was healing from eating gluten. I'm super into health and am loving your posts!

Kathy Bradey said...

Oh thanks, Heidi! I just came off gluten, too. That was the main reason I wasn't absorbing D. Glad your son's doing better.

Kathy

Shaharizan Perez said...

Great info on Vitamin D. Thanks!

John Wiswell said...

No joke - I had just taken my Vitamin D pill the minute before loading your page. It is crazy important, especially for Irish people like me who don't metabolize it correctly from the grand old sun.

Robin Moran said...

My mum was given that advice too when she found out she had low vitamin D. She's never loved advice so much!

Brandon Ax said...

Yeah it is a hard balance trying to protect yourself from the sun and get the D you need. Fish, eggs, mushrooms and yes even salami have Vitamin D in them. Great post.