Three years ago, I wrote
about the lack of vitamin D contributing to congestive
heart failure (CHF). New evidence shows further
support that getting a daily dose of vitamin D -- and there's no healthier
or easier way to get it than from the sun -- boosts your natural
anti-inflammatory response. And this boost can go a long way to treat a
Optimizing your sun exposure and
levels of vitamin D may, indeed, be one of the most important physical
steps you can take in
support of your long-term health. No surprise,
conventional medicine is finally getting on board the vitamin D bandwagon,
using the natural power of sunshine to treat type
2 diabetes, osteoporosis
during a woman's pregnancy and even tuberculosis.
It is important to understand
that the ideal and STRONGLY preferred method of increasing your vitamin D
level is through appropriate sun exposure. I really do not advise oral
supplements, not even cod liver oil now, UNLESS you can you have your
blood levels checked regularly.
It just is too risky. I have seen too
many potentially dangerous elevations of vitamin D levels, including my
own, from those that are taking oral supplements. Fortunately for myself or
our patients, we quickly correct and adjust for the problem. But if you
aren't even testing you could be setting yourself up from potentially
Vitamin D is wonderful but avoid
overriding your body's intuitive wisdom and allow the normal feedback loops
to operate and shut down your vitamin D production if you have too much.
That just doesn't happen when you swallow vitamin D, your levels just keep
going higher and higher.
When you get your vitamin D from
appropriate sun exposure your body can indeed self-regulate and greatly
reduce vitamin D production if you don't need it, which makes it
very difficult to overdose on vitamin D from sun exposure.
If you are exercising in the sun
like I do and sweat quite a bit, please understand that the vitamin D is
oil-soluble. So, you won't want to shower immediately after being in the
sun as the vitamin D is formed in your skin and can be easily washed off.
So cool down after you work out and let your body absorb the vitamin D you
produce in your skin after sun exposure.
Be sure and get outside
regularly -- that is the key. Take some time for yourself and work up to
the point where you get regular sun on your skin every day it is
possible. If you start to get the slightest amount of pink you know you
have enough sun and need to seek shade.
I can assure you that I consider
this an essential part of my personal Total
Health Program, and I try to get in to work around 4-5
a.m. so I can leave early and read out in the sunshine.
Please remember that, in nearly
every circumstance, getting your vitamin D by exposing your body to UV
light from the sun is the best option. When doing so, however, there are
two extremely important points to remember:
1. Stay away
from tanning beds, as they can increase your risk of
staying in the sun long enough to burn your skin. At
the beginning of the season, limit your exposure to perhaps as little as
five to 10 minutes a day. Progressively increase your time in the sun so
that in a few weeks, you will be able to have normal sun exposure with
little risk of skin cancer.