benefits of vitamin D

  1. Vitamin D benefits: proven to work

    Vitamin D study falls short

    A pile of garbage is a pile of garbage -- and adding more trash doesn't transform it into something better.

    It just makes it a bigger pile of garbage.

    That's what's really behind the new study on vitamin D benefits that claims vitamin D supplements are unnecessary and don't work.

    Sure, it sounds impressive when they say they used data on thousands of patients from hundreds of studies. But if the studies themselves are all flawed, then it hardly matters how many they used.

    It's just a bigger pile of garbage.

    In most of the studies of vitamin D benefits in the analysis, patients given supplements were given just 400 IUs per day.

    If you take a vitamin D supplement yourself (and I hope you do) you know how low that is. That's lower than the 600 IUs per day recommended by the Institute of Medicine -- a level rightfully criticized as being far too low even by mainstream medical voices.

    The Harvard School of Medicine, for example, recommends between 1,000 IUs and 4,000 IUs per day.

    That means many patients in the new analysis were given just 10 percent of what they really need. And in the biggest study in the analysis, they didn't even get that much -- because a full 60 percent admitted they didn't take their supplements as directed.

    This sounds more like a bid for attention than a scientific study. And if that was their goal, it worked, because the study is making headlines around the world.

    But forget the sensationalism. Let's stick to the science -- the hundreds of studies that show the very real vitamin D  benefits supplements that these researchers managed to ignore.

    For example, D supplements are so critical to bone health that clinical trials have shown they can reduce the risk of a fracture by 20 percent.

    The sunshine vitamin is also so essential to your immune system that D supplements are 800 percent more effective than the flu shot -- and unlike the shot, vitamin D can prevent the common cold, too.

    It's also a proven cancer fighter, forcing cancer cells to turn into ordinary cells and killing any that don't make the switch. It's so powerful against the disease that one leading expert in the UK is urging all women to take D supplements to prevent breast cancer and death from breast cancer.

    He should have given the same advice to men -- because D can also protect against colorectal cancers, lung cancer, prostate cancer and more.

    Vitamin D is also essential to the heart, brain and more. But if you don't get enough, you can't get the benefits.

    And most people don't get nearly enough.

    The best source of D is sunlight, but most people don't get enough sun exposure to make the D they need. And of course, relying on sun for D could increase the risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

    Since you can't get much D from food, that leaves supplements.

    I recommend an absolute minimum of 2,000 IUs per day of vitamin D3, and some people may need more -- as much as 5,000 IUs per day, especially if you have darker skin or live towards the north, and especially in winter.

    Your doctor can help you figure out the amount that's best for you.

  2. Vitamin D fights c-MYC

    The vitamin that's cancer's 'master regulator'

    Vitamin D can slash your risk of cancer -- that's a fact -- and now with new research of vitamin D and c-MYC problems, we may finally know why.

    Turns out it's not just that this nutrient is great for the immune system, giving your body the power it needs to fight off disease (although that's certainly true as well).

    No, there's more to it than that -- because new research shows that the sunshine vitamin may actually be the "master regulator" of the very process that allows precancerous cells to turn into malignant tumors.

    It's a process marked by out-of-control cell division, which is the very definition of cancer. The sparkplug of this process is a protein called c-MYC -- and high levels of it are found in half of all cancers, especially cancers of the colon and digestive tract as well as leukemia.

    When you don't have enough vitamin D, c-MYC can operate unchecked -- and cancer cells can divide, grow, and spread -- and you end up sick or even dead.

    And sadly, most people don't have nearly enough of this critical nutrient.

    But there's a bright side to this -- because the new study finds that increased levels of the "master regulator," vitamin D, could keep c-MYC in line and cause the tumor-making process to grind to a halt.

    In a series of experiments in mice, vitamin D applied to the skin caused c-MYC levels to plunge and decreased the function of the protein. And in a second set of experiments on mice missing vitamin D receptors, c-MYC levels shot up, especially in skin and colon tissue.

    Of course, we'll need more research before anyone can say for sure whether the process works the same way in humans -- and, if it does, we'll need more studies to figure out the best way to use D against c-MYC.

    But we already know from dozens of studies that vitamin D can protect against cancer in humans -- and since you need vitamin D for so many other reasons, make sure you're getting plenty of it. I recommend a D3 supplement of between 2,000 IU and 5,000 IU a day.

  3. Vitamin D may help asthmatics get the disease under control

    Vitamin D can boost lung function, and a new study finds it can even help asthmatics who take meds get better control of their disease.

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