sunshine vitamin

  1. Low vitamin D levels getting lower

    Sunshine vitamin deficiencies on the rise

    It's one of the biggest nutritional deficiencies in the Western world today -- and low vitamin D levels are not getting any better.

    In fact, it's getting worse.

    Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, essential for everything from strong bone to a healthy heart -- and new numbers out of Canada show that only 10 percent of the people there have optimal levels of this essential hormone. The rest of the people have low vitamin D levels or a deficiency.

    That's actually a decline of 6.2 percent over just the past two years.

    You might think Americans would be better off. We're further south, so we get more sun.

    But it hasn't always led to higher D levels.

    While new numbers for Americans aren't available just yet, they tend to closely mirror the data out of Canada, with similar numbers of people consistently battling  insufficiencies and low vitamin D levels.

    And if that remains the case, then our kids in particular are in especially bad shape -- because the Canadian study finds that D levels have fallen by more than 10 percent in the 6-through-11 crowd.

    But it's not just children. Clearly, everyone is suffering -- and I mean really suffering, because low vitamin D  levels  have been linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and more.

    That's why it's essential that everyone -- and I mean everyone -- take a vitamin D supplement.

    But don't grab the first one off the shelf and consider yourself covered, because there's also a warning hidden in the new study: Fifteen percent of those who take a daily D pill have insufficient levels anyway.

    That could be a sign of a genetic condition that makes it difficult to get proper D levels, but it could also mean they're taking low doses or using a low-quality supplement.

    Make sure you take a supplement from a maker you trust. And make sure you get enough. Most people need a minimum of 2,000 IUs a day, and many need up to 5,000 IUs a day.

    A holistic doctor can test your levels and help you determine how much you need as well as the best way to get it -- and monitor your progress to make sure the supplement you take actually does the job.

  2. Better blood sugar control with the sunshine vitamin

    Vitamin D helps protect the heart from metabolic syndrome

    Nearly everyone needs more vitamin D. But if you're suffering from metabolic syndrome, you really need this stuff.

    Proper D levels have been shown to help control blood sugar and even help keep your metabolic syndrome from turning into diabetes. And now, the latest research shows it can even save your life -- not bad for a nutrient you can get for free by simply standing outside under the sun.

    Researchers used data from 1,801 patients with metabolic syndrome who were tracked for an average of 7.7 years as part of a larger study.

    Just 8 percent of them had optimal levels of D, which the researchers considered to be 75 nmol/L, while nearly three times as many -- 22 percent -- were severely deficient.

    Not surprisingly, those with optimal levels were in much better shape. They were 66 percent less likely to die of cardiovascular disease and 75 percent less likely to die of any cause.

    But you don't need to wait for metabolic syndrome to kick in to boost your D levels -- because the sunshine vitamin can help protect you from even getting the condition in the first place. One study in 2009 found that people with low D levels are 52 percent more likely to get metabolic syndrome than those with optimal levels.

    That's a handy trick in a time when metabolic syndrome is raging out of control -- but that's not all D can do. Proper D levels can protect the brain and slash your risk of dementia. The sunshine vitamin can also strengthen bone, protect the heart, lift your mood, and slash your risk of cancer.

    It can even prevent the cold and flu -- and help you overcome the illnesses if you do happen to catch them.

    The best way to get your D is right from the source: Spend a few minutes a day outside under the sun.

    That's a lot easier said than done these days -- so get a quality D supplement and take it every day to make sure you really get what you need.

  3. Vitamin D can protect against cancer

    I just told you how the sunshine vitamin can help keep pre-diabetes from turning into the real thing -- and now, a new study finds it might stop melanomas cold.

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