Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for general health and well-being. It is essential for bone health and a healthy immune system. It helps prevent and fight cancer and is a key factor in preventing depression.
In Europe, papers on diseases linked to vitamin D deficiency were written as early as the 1600s. It took the medical establishment in the U.S. a little longer, but since the 1900s, everyone knew of this vitamin’s importance. Contributions to the original research came from different doctors; many of them were looking for a way to cure rickets, a childhood bone disease. But the word spread far after Adolf Windaus, who won a Noble Price for Chemistry in 1928, spoke of vitamin D in his acceptance speech.
And yet, here we are, almost a full century later, with the media starting to publish about vitamin D’s benefits as if they were just discovered. Moreover, there have a been a lot of lies about vitamin D spread for a few decades, some accidental due to misunderstanding of what vitamin D is, some are very much purposeful to prevent us from using a truly natural way to heal, instead having to rely of pharmaceuticals that in no way can ever produce the same effect.
Sifting through all of the medical chatter, this is what you need to know about vitamin D.
What is Vitamin D, Really?
What confused earlier doctors the most, is that vitamin D is not really a vitamin. Generally speaking, true vitamins, such as vitamins A, and C, are found in food. The human body is not able produce these vitamins. Vitamin D is different; it’s a hormone that’s not common in the foods we eat. Vitamin D naturally occurs in fish and egg yolks and it is produced by the body when our skin comes in contact with the sun, The ultraviolet B energy is converted to vitamin D3, which is transferred to the liver, and later made into vitamin D by the kidneys.
Because vitamin D is mostly acquired from the sunlight, vitamin D deficiency has plagued humanity at different stages. In the case of rickets, the disease was a huge problem for children who lived during the Industrial Revolution, when smog filled the cities preventing sunlight from coming through. Today most people are vitamin D deficient due to our modern lifestyles and because we have been taught to fear of the sun (and sometimes vitamin D in general).
Vitamin D from the Sun is Vital (and Sunscreens Blocks It)
Researchers have noticed that when there is a lack of sunlight, such as during the winter months, there are more illnesses – from a simple cold to cancer. It is extremely important to soak up the sun. But many ask, “Doesn’t the sun lead to skin cancer?”
The sun’s electromagnetic light spectrum is divided into different wavelengths: UVA, UVB, and UVC. Only the first two reach the Earth’s surface. UVC gets blocked by the ozone layer. It is the UVB rays the body uses to create vitamin D. And unfortunately, it is these rays that the sunscreen blocks. The ones that may contribute to cancer are the UVA rays, and they sunscreen does not protect against them (instead most sunscreens contains chemicals such as oxybenzone that actually lead to skin cancer and other cancers). And let’s not forget that even though more people use sunscreen, and with higher SPF value, the rates of skin cancers did not
The ones that may contribute to cancer are the UVA rays, and sunscreen does not protect against them. Instead, most sunscreens contain chemicals such as oxybenzone, that actually lead to skin cancer and other cancers. And let’s not forget that even though more people have been using sunscreen, and with higher SPF value, the rates of skin cancers did not decrease. They actually increased.
It is not the UVB rays that increases your chances of skin cancer, but being sunburned does. There is no such thing as getting too much vitamin D from the sun. As long as you do not get burned, you can get as much sun as you want.
To prevent sunburn, eat a lot of antioxidant-rich foods, especially dark greens, as they help protect the skin from cell damage. If you are planning to stay outside for a long time, wear a hat and clothes that cover your body or stay in the shade. And if you are sure you may get too much sun, choose sunscreens that are made with more natural ingredients.
When you soak up the sun, you receive the most vitamin D, and the benefits of it are numerous.
A Long List of Benefits
- Healthy bones: allows body to assimilate calcium and prevents fractures and osteoporosis
- Healthy teeth
- Muscle strength
- Heart health: prevents heart disease: heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, artery damage, cardiovascular issues, and cardiovascular death and controls blood pressures.
- Immune system: prevents autoimmune disorders, type 1 diabetes; helps fight the flu, tuberculosis, and the common cold.
- Nervous system: prevents multiple sclerosis
- Kidney health
- Proper calcium absorption
- Reduces inflammation
- Prevents obesity
- Prevents premature death
And perhaps one of the most important benefits of vitamin D in today’s world is cancer prevention.
Vitamin D and Cancer Prevention
What many don’t realize, is that vitamin D is a strong cancer-fighter, and by being exposed to the sun, you are actually lowering your chances of cancer.
Vitamin D helps destroy damaged cells and reduces cancer cell growth. Studies have shown that at least 16 types of cancers can be prevented by a higher vitamin D intake, including breast, lung, and skin cancers.
In the winter months and in places where the natural sunlight is not easily accessible, it is possible to receive some vitamin D from the food, but most often it is important to add a good vitamin D supplement to your daily wellness routine.
Foods With Naturally Occurring Vitamin D
- Cod liver oil
- Other fish
- Seafood (clams, crab)
- Liver (beef, pork, chicken, lamb)
- Egg yolk
It is also possible to take vitamin D in supplement form. Naturopathic doctors recommend up to 10,000 IU’s per day.
The FDA recommends between 400-600 IU a day, but that number is flawed. When the medical establishment studied vitamin dosage, they used synthetic versions of the vitamin, which can indeed be toxic at higher levels, leading to birth defects, cancers, breathing problems, and mental problems. It is impossible to overdose on Vitamin D acquired from the sun, its few food sources, or naturally derived supplements.
- Foods with Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 for those with Multiple Sclerosis
- Vitamin D and Hypertension
- Vitamin D and Hypertension
- Gluten, Candida, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Autoimmune Diseases
- The Power of Our Hormones and How To Balance Them
- Sunlight and Vitamin D
- The Nobel Prize and the Discovery of Vitamins — The Official Website of the Noble Prize
- History of the discovery of vitamin D and its active metabolites — BoneKEy Reports
- The Surprising Cause of Melanoma (And No, it’s Not Too Much Sun) — Mercola