Did you know that when you have healthy levels of this vitamin, it’s virtually impossible to get a cold or the flu…and with even higher levels, it can potentially prevent and treat cancer and heart disease?
Can you guess what it is?
Nope, not Vitamin C.
Not Zinc either (zinc is actually a mineral, so not in the running for this contest).
It’s Vitamin D. Surprised?
Vitamin D is vital for a healthy immune system, calcium absorption, regulating inflammation, and decreasing the risk of chronic disease.
There have been studies that link these diseases and medical issues with a Vitamin D deficiency:
- High blood pressure and arterial stiffness
- Cancer (and research has showen that cells are killed by high enough levels of Vitamin D)
- Type 2 Diabetes (and studies show that infants who get Vitamin D supplementation reduce their risk by 80% of developing Type I diabetes over the next 20 years)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Colds and flu
The good news is that with adequate levels, many conditions will improve. But just because this is a remarkable vitamin does NOT mean it has super-hero abilities. If you have some of these very serious issues and think a bottle of Vitamin D will make you 100% well, remember that there are other factors that need to be addressed before optimal health is achieved.
Your diet. Clean it up! No sugar (feeds cancer cells) or flour (turns into sugar when metabolized). Cut down on your sodium intake and eliminate artificial sweeteners. You can read more about the diet that I subscribe to here. And exercise. Exercise affects every system in your body, helps to build muscle, manage weight, releases a “feel good” hormone.
The next step is to get your Vitamin D level checked through a blood test. There is a specific test that you should ask your doctor for (it has become the standard test for many physicians, but always good to ask). It is 25(OH)D.
Here are the appropriate levels of Vitamin D according to Dr. Mercola:
- <50 ng/ml Deficient
- 50-70 ng/ml Optimal
- 70-100 ng/ml Treat cancer and heart disease
- >100 ng/ml Excess
Mine was 17. (No wonder I could catch a cold just by watching a Puffs Plus commercial!) My boys’ levels were about 40.
It is estimated that about 40-70% of the population is deficient in Vitamin D. (Even on the low end, that’s a pretty high number.) 76% of pregnant woman are Vitamin D deficient (which predisposes both mom and infant to the ailments listed above).
So now we all take Vitamin D3 supplements (here is a study about D2 verses D3) and I’m happy to report that I have gotten just one cold since starting the supplementation two years ago…and I still believe it was because my youngest sneezed so close to my face that the cold germs could literally crawl up my nose 🙂 Sorry. Too much information?
I do also try to also use good old sunshine during the warmer months (which we know are few in Chicago).
There is so much information about Vitamin D, this only scratches the surface. But if it motivates you to get your level checked, then I’ve done what I set out to do!