Vitamin D – Why?

I thought I would repost this as it’s the time of year to start supplementing your sunshine!

Vitamin D – Why?


Last winter I was lucky enough to have a week in Barbados, This year I will need to supplement this important nutrient. I use a mouth spray as it tastes great, is good value and very easy to use. In the UK we are too far north on planet Earth to get enough UVB from the sun for at least half the year to make enough Vitamin D – even though your body will make it from just a few minutes of sunshine on your skin, you need to actually expose it.
Many of us avoid the sun for fear of ageing and so use moisturisers and make-up with sun screens that we lack this essential element in our diets.
Unless you are VERY fair – a red head, with many moles – your chance of skin cancer is very low. Your beautician will want you to buy everything with a sunscreen in it – but they aren’t thinking about your overall health – just your appearance!


NOTE: may help (can’t hurt) with weight loss!

Effective for:
Treating conditions that cause weak and painful bones (osteomalacia).
Low levels of phosphate in the blood (familial hypophosphatemia).
Low levels of phosphate in the blood due to a disease called Fanconi syndrome.
Psoriasis (with a specialized prescription-only form of vitamin D).
Low blood calcium levels because of a low parathyroid thyroid hormone levels.
Helping prevent low calcium and bone loss (renal osteodystrophy) in people with kidney failure.
Vitamin D deficiency.


Likely Effective for:
Treating osteoporosis (weak bones). Taking a specific form of vitamin D called cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) along with calcium seems to help prevent bone loss and bone breaks.
Preventing falls in older people. Researchers noticed that people who don’t have enough vitamin D tend to fall more often than other people. They found that taking a vitamin D supplement reduces the risk of falling by up to 22%. Higher doses of vitamin D are more effective than lower doses. One study found that taking 800 IU of vitamin D reduced the risk of falling, but lower doses didn’t.

Also, vitamin D, in combination with calcium, but not calcium alone, may prevent falls by decreasing body sway and blood pressure. This combination prevents more falls in women than men.
Reducing bone loss in people taking drugs called corticosteroids.

Possibly Effective for:
Reducing the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS). Studies show taking vitamin D seems to reduce women’s risk of getting MS by up to 40%. Taking at least 400 IU per day, the amount typically found in a multivitamin supplement, seems to work the best.
Preventing cancer. Some research shows that people who take a high-dose vitamin D supplement plus calcium might have a lower chance of developing cancer of any type.
Weight loss. Women taking calcium plus vitamin D are more likely to lose weight and maintain their weight. But this benefit is mainly in women who didn’t get enough calcium before they started taking supplements.
Respiratory infections. Clinical research in school aged children shows that taking a vitamin D supplement during winter might reduce the chance of getting seasonal flu. Other research suggests that taking a vitamin D supplement might reduce the chance of an asthma attack triggered by a cold or other respiratory infection. Some additional research suggests that children with low levels of vitamin D have a higher chance of getting a respiratory infection such as the common cold or flu.
Reducing the risk of rheumatoid arthritis in older women.
Reducing bone loss in women with a condition called hyperparathyroidism.
Preventing tooth loss in the elderly.

How Much?
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

For preventing osteoporosis and fractures: 400-1000 IU per day has been used for older adults. Some experts recommended higher doses of 1000-2000 IU daily.
For preventing falls: 800-1000 IU/day has been used in combination with calcium 1000-1200 mg/day.
For preventing multiple sclerosis (MS): long-term consumption of at least 400 IU per day, mainly in the form of a multivitamin supplement, has been used.
For preventing all cancer types: calcium 1400-1500 mg/day plus vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) 1100 IU/day in postmenopausal women has been used.
For muscle pain caused by medications called “statins”: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) or vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) 50,000 units once a week or 400 IU daily.
For preventing the flu: vitamin D (cholecalciferol) 1200 IU daily.
Most vitamin supplements contain only 400 IU (10 mcg) vitamin D.


The Institute of Medicine publishes recommended daily allowance (RDA), which is an estimate of the amount of vitamin D that meets the needs of most people in the population. The current RDA was set in 2010. The RDA varies based on age as follows: 1-70 years of age, 600 IU daily; 71 years and older, 800 IU daily; pregnant and lactating women, 600 IU daily. For infants ages 0-12 months, an adequate intake (AI) level of 400 IU is recommended.

Some organizations are recommending higher amounts. In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics increased the recommended minimum daily intake of vitamin D to 400 IU daily for all infants and children, including adolescents. Parents should not use vitamin D liquids dosed as 400 IU/drop. Giving one dropperful or mL by mistake can deliver 10,000 IU/day. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will force companies to provide no more than 400 IU per dropperful in the future.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends vitamin D 400 IU to 800 IU daily for adults under age 50, and 800 IU to 1000 IU daily for older adults.

The North American Menopause Society recommends 700 IU to 800 IU daily for women at risk of deficiency due to low sun (e.g., homebound, northern latitude) exposure.

Guidelines from the Osteoporosis Society of Canada recommend vitamin D 400 IU per day for people up to age 50, and 800 IU per day for people over 50. Osteoporosis Canada now recommends 400-1000 IU daily for adults under the age of 50 years and 800-2000 IU daily for adults over the age of 50 years.

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends 1000 IU/day during the fall and winter for adults in Canada. For those with a higher risk of having low vitamin D levels, this dose should be taken year round. This includes people who have dark skin, usually wear clothing that covers most of their skin, and people who are older or who don’t go outside often.

Many experts now recommend using vitamin D supplements containing cholecalciferol in order to meet these intake levels. This seems to be more potent than another form of vitamin D called ergocalciferol.


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Facts About Your Liver

Interesting facts you may not know about your liver
Another article that may interest you – especially if you are having problems with your energy levels, belly fat, too much Xmas alcohol, have been taking pain killers or anti-biotics for a while, have hi cholesterol or you’re taking statins, you have blood sugar level worries like pre-diabetes or a family history of Diabetes.

Your liver is the second largest organ in your body (after your skin) and it sits in your right, upper abdominal area. We regularly tell you how important your liver is to your overall health, and that if you look after it, you should live a longer and healthier life.
Two of the best known functions of the liver are fat burning and detoxification. Your liver has a major influence over how efficient your metabolism is, and helps you maintain a healthy body weight. Your liver also detoxifies and purifies your bloodstream, all toxic substances that enter your body are eventually processed by your liver. If your liver is good at this job, you will feel energetic, find it easy to think clearly and have a happy, stable mood. If your liver is a poor detoxifier you will feel quite the opposite.
Apart from fat burning and detoxifying, your liver performs several other important functions that you are probably not aware of. This helps to explain why an unhealthy liver can produce such a wide range of health problems.

Less well known jobs your liver performs

· Carbohydrate metabolism
Your liver helps to control your blood sugar level. This is why people with a fatty liver are so prone to developing type 2 diabetes. Your liver converts the glucose you have consumed from carbohydrate rich foods into glycogen, which is stored in the liver and released between meals to keep your energy levels high. People with a fatty liver are not able to store glycogen in their liver well, therefore their blood sugars can rise to unhealthy levels. If you cannot store glycogen well, you will be prone to hypoglycaemia. You may get sugar cravings and feel tired, weak, jittery or moody if you haven’t eaten for several hours. You may also experience poor quality sleep because your blood sugar is unstable throughout the night. You can help by choosing foods that are low or moderate on the Glycemic Load scale to keep your blood sugar stable and balanced and reducing the symptoms of hypoglycaemia.

· Hormone metabolism
Your liver is the major site of hormone breakdown. Your liver breaks down estrogen and secretes it into bile, which then enters your intestines for excretion. If your liver is overworked, you won’t excrete estrogen well and may get symptoms of estrogen dominance such as PMS, sore, lumpy breasts, fluid retention and menstrual cramps. If your liver doesn’t break male hormones (androgens) down well, you may get symptoms such as acne, scalp hair loss and facial hair (in women). One of the best ways a woman can fix her hormone problems is by fixing her liver. You may not realise that your cholesterol level is largely determined by the health of your liver. If you have a fatty liver, inflamed liver or sluggish liver, you will have higher levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Having a high blood triglyceride reading is very dangerous because these fats make the bloodstream thick and sticky and prone to clots. If your gallbladder is healthy, it will excrete cholesterol into your intestines and it will then be removed from your body in the stool. If your gallbladder is unhealthy, the cholesterol can form stones or sludge. It is ironic that most cholesterol lowering drugs (statins) can actually cause raised liver enzymes, meaning they damage liver cells. This means your liver will end up in even worse shape long term.

· Thyroid hormone metabolism
There are two main thyroid hormones in your body: T4 and T3. Your thyroid gland manufactures T4 but it is an inactive hormone. In order to be activated, it must be converted into T3. The majority of that conversion occurs in your liver. T3 is necessary for efficient metabolism in every cell of your body. If you do not have sufficient levels, you can feel tired, bloated, depressed and you will likely gain weight. You can have a perfectly healthy thyroid gland, but if your liver is sluggish you may still have a thyroid hormone deficiency.

· Storage of vitamins and minerals
Vitamins A, D, B12, K and E are stored in the liver, along with copper and iron. Most of these nutrients can be stored in the liver for several months and keep you going if your diet becomes inadequate. Your liver is also responsible for converting vitamin D into its active form. If your liver is unhealthy it will have difficulty with this function.

You will know my thoughts on how Iodine supplementation will help too!!