It’s only within the last decade that a Vitamin D supplement became widely accepted by the conventional medicine community.
Today, it’s one of the most highly regarded supplements in both natural and conventional medicine viewed as essential to good health.
Vitamin-D made the jump to mainstream medicine through quality evidence-based natural medicine research.
Studies were conducted over varying lengths of time, in various countries, and included diverse populations, ranging in age, ethnicity, occupation, activity level, and health status.
These studies were conducted by independent researchers not affiliated with, or compensated by, a drug or supplement company.
This large-scale, scientific analysis highlighted the critical role of Vitamin-D in our everyday heath and the overarching need for most people to augment their diets with a supplement.
Vitamin D is a catalyst for a variety of cellular processes. It supports the development of strong bones and may also help manage chronic pain and protect against the risk of some types of cancer and musculoskeletal conditions.
Studies indicate a “world-wide epidemic” of Vitamin-D deficiency due to inadequate diets and lack of significant sunlight to trigger the biochemical production of this nutrient; we need 20 minutes a day where most of the skin is exposed without the use of sunscreen.
A vitamin D deficiency can cause osteopenia, osteoporosis, increased risk of fracture, sunken pelvic area (due to rickets) and trouble getting pregnant and delivering a baby naturally.
Of the six forms of Vitamin-D, Vitamins D2 and D3 are the most important for human nutrition.
Vitamin D2 predominantly comes from the sun and fungi, such as mushrooms. Vitamin D3 can be produced in the body from the absorption and conversion of the sun’s UVB rays or from animal sources.
Because it affects the entire body, it’s vital to maintain your Vitamin-D levels. For a boost: eat fatty fish, mushrooms, liver, egg yolk, milk, and yogurt.
Better yet, get plenty of direct sun exposure. If you are concerned that your vitamin D levels are not up to par, talk with your Naturopathic Doctor about an assessment and individualized supplement plan.
But be cautious though – Vitamin D is technically not a ‘vitamin’ – it’s actually a hormone.
And it’s very easy to overdo it when taking D supplements which will affect your hormonal or endocrine system. It’s always wise to get your Vitamin D levels tested before you embark on a supplement regime. Your naturopathic doctor can order the right tests for you.
Dr. Olena Gill is a Naturopathic Physician and Acupuncturist practicing in Parksville and Gabriola Island, BC and a regular contributor to the Herbal Collective magazine.