Here in Saskatchewan we are well into the season of low sunlight, so it’s time to take another look at vitamin D. The following is from a review of a book published earlier this year:
What do obesity, heart disease, depression, diabetes, and fibromyalgia have in common? The answer is vitamin D deficiency. More than 200 million Americans lack this essential vitamin and as a result suffer from a host of daily annoyances, chronic conditions, and even life-threatening illnesses. In the landmark book THE VITAMIN D SOLUTION: A 3-Step Strategy to Cure Our Most Common Health Problem (Penguin/Hudson Street Press; April 1, 2010) Dr. Michael F. Holick identifies the causes of vitamin D deficiency, outlines why it is essential to our health, and provides a 3-step program to attain optimal levels of Vitamin D in our bodies.
The leading vitamin D expert worldwide, Dr. Holick has studied Vitamin D for more than 30 years. Through his research, we now know that every body cell has a receptor for vitamin D and it goes much further beyond bone health. Increasing levels of vitamin D can treat, prevent, and even reverse a remarkable number of daily ailments, from high blood pressure to back pain; lessen the symptoms of chronic conditions such as diabetes and arthritis; and actually prevent infectious diseases, including H1N1 and cancer. Dr. Holick also credits vitamin D with improving infertility, weight control, memory and mood.
Although vitamin D is called the "Sunshine Vitamin" it is not actually a vitamin but a hormone – unique because it is made in the skin as a result of exposure to sunlight. It is also possible to receive vitamin D from certain foods like fortified milk or mushrooms – the only item in the produce aisle to contain vitamin D. Dr. Holick also recommends supplements to ensure people have optimal levels of this crucial vitamin.
Watch for more on vitamin D in future columns.
This article is intended for educational purposes only; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.