Could the fact that vitamin D deficiency that leads to an accumulation of body fat be relevant in cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and autoimmune disorders?

A study at McGill University Health Centre in Canada found that 59% of the people evaluated were deficient in vitamin D and about 25% were severely deficient – and that there was a definitive link between vitamin D deficiency and an accumulation of fat in muscle tissue, a condition that is increasingly common in industrialized nations. Though diet plays a role in obesity, vitamin D may do so as well .It is possible that the reason why vitamin D deficiency is linked to all sorts of serious diseases (cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and autoimmune disorders) has more to do with the increase in visceral fat that it causes, which in turn leads to such health problems.

The main reason for the deficiency is that people spend much more time indoors than they used to. Especially with computers, people often spend their entire days inside cubicles where they are exposed to little or no sunlight.

The body is inable to produce vitamin D on its own; the vitamin is created when skin is exposed to sunlight. Some foods contain vitamin D, but in minimal amounts compared that derived from the sun exposure and few people consume enough vitamin D-rich food to obtain adequate amounts.

The best way to address vitamin D deficiency is to get more sunlight. But when this is not possible, particularly throughout the winter months when the sun is at a lower angle and the ultraviolet (UV) rays are at a minimum, supplementation with vitamin D is the next best option.

Currently, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin D is between 200 and 400 international units (IU) per day, depending on age. Recent studies are showing that these recommendations are too low to maintain optimal health. Some are suggesting that these guidelines be updated to amounts upwards of 1,000 IU per day, including the Canadian Cancer Society.

On a typical summer day, 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight exposure will result in the skin producing about 40,000 IU of vitamin D. At this point, the mechanism that produces it shuts off in order to prevent the body from making too much.

With these levels in mind, many naturopathic doctors recommend supplementing with up to 10,000 IU a day or more. Many believe it is difficult to take too much vitamin D because the safe upper limits are much higher than previously thought.

Currently, the best form of vitamin D is D3, or cholecalciferol, because it is the precursor to the type created by the body from sunlight exposure. Vitamin D3 can be safely taken at amounts much higher than the RDA guidelines.

Study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism,

Courtesy of Natural News


First Published in May 2010

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