Vitamin D3

Here is the first installment of my winter toolkit series. If you haven't met her yet, it's time for me to introduce you to my very good friend, Vitamin D3.I call her my bottled sunshine.Peeps, meet my friend Vitamin D3.Vitamin D3, here are my peeps.My friend Vitamin D3 is one of the main reasons I can do more than just hang on for dear life during a long Minnesota winter.Henry's new book, The Chemistry of Calm, will release next week.

I first found out about Vitamin D3 supplements and what they could do for my health from Dr. Henry Emmons a few years ago. I might have once or twice–okay, actually maybe a thousand times–mentioned his fantastic book, The Chemistry of Joy, and his Resilience Training program at Abbott’s Penny George Institute for Health and Healing.

Vitamin D3 is just one of the many life-changing tools Dr. Emmons has shared with me as my medical mentor and coach toward a depression and anxiety-free life.

The results I got from supplementing with Vitamin D3 were noticeable pretty quickly. I didn’t feel like I was constantly in a dark tunnel. I had more energy and perspective. I could think more clearly. I finally felt like I was doing more than just surviving.

Since meeting her, I have kept my friend Vitamin D3 very close to me. I take a lower dose through the summer and start upping the dose in early fall. I now take 5,000 ius a day from fall through spring. In summer, I take 1,000 – 2,000 ius.

I just have to lapse into a gentle rant here for a second:Though I am extremely grateful for how much better I feel now, wouldn’t it have been so much easier if I had met my friend Vitamin D3 before I reached my 40s? Which prompts me to ask: How did we get so incredibly far from the intrinsic knowledge God gave us regarding how to keep us naturally healthy on our planet? How could we forget about or disregard something so simple, yet so important to our well-being?

You don’t have to be depressed to benefit from Vitamin D3. Nor do you have to be living in the far North, though geography does significantly impact your chances of being severely deficient. As you have probably heard in the news, studies are now showing that our deficiency in Vitamin D could be contributing to all kinds of ailments: diabetes, depression, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, crohns disease, flu, and even cancer.

Last year, I found myself for the first time faced with the pressure to give my children two different flu vaccines (H1N1 in addition to the seasonal one). After reading further about Vitamin D deficiency and the flu, and at my friend and nutritional counselor Colleen‘s prompting,  I decided to try replacing our flu shots with consistent doses of Vitamin D. And we had the healthiest winter we’ve ever experienced. (This is obviously not intended as scientific proof of the benefits of one over the other; I’m simply sharing my experience in case it’s helpful to you.)

To do some of your own investigating, here are some resources to get you started:

An opportunity to watch Dr. Emmons talking about Vitamin D on video (EmpowHer):

The third thing which is maybe not as important in the Phoenix area as it is in Minnesota but I think it’s important everywhere and that’s vitamin D.

Certainly if you are in the northern half of this country from October thru April, I think you should be on vitamin D.

And I used to recommend 1000 units a day and then 2000 units a day and now I am recommending very often 4,000 to 5000 units a day during the winter months.

In the rest of the year, you know April thru October, if you are not in the sun very much you should still take some 1000 or 2000 units a day in the summer.

I also think that for most people if you suffered from depression or anxiety get a vitamin D level. Don’t really on chance there. Get a vitamin D level. It’s simple, it’s inexpensive.

The normal range for vitamin D is considered anything between 30 and 80. I believe that the level, the lower end of that should be 50. So I think your vitamin D level should be above 50 to really keep you healthy.

Apparently Vitamin D is much more than your average vitamin. It influences more than 200 genes and affects our DNA.

Vitamin D, “the sunshine vitamin,” may very well be one of the most beneficial vitamins there is for disease prevention. Unfortunately it’s also one of the vitamins that a vast majority of people across the world are deficient in due to lack of regular exposure to sunshine.

The vitamin D formed when your skin is exposed to sunlight regulates the expression of more than 2,000 genes throughout your body, including ones that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses. Hence, being overwhelmed by the “flu bug” could signal that your vitamin D levels are too low, allowing the flu virus to overtake your immune system.

Reuters reports:

“Vitamin D deficiency is a well-known risk factor for rickets, and some evidence suggests it may increase susceptibility to autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes, as well as certain cancers and even dementia.”

Read much more from Dr. Joseph Mercola about Vitamin D, here

And just one study offered recently by the Mayo Clinic:

Mayo Clinic and Collaborators Find Vitamin D Levels are Associated with Survival in Lymphoma Patients

A new study has found that the amount of vitamin D in patients being treated for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma was strongly associated with cancer progression and overall survival. The results will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology in New Orleans.

“These are some of the strongest findings yet between vitamin D and cancer outcome,” says the study’s lead investigator, Matthew Drake, M.D., Ph.D., an endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. “While these findings are very provocative, they are preliminary and need to be validated in other studies. However, they raise the issue of whether vitamin D supplementation might aid in treatment for this malignancy, and thus should stimulate much more research.

The best news about my friend Vitamin D3 is that you can get to know her inexpensively and easily.

You can get a bottle of 120 little gel pills (so easy to swallow!) of 5,000 ius each for a mere $5.50 on Amazon.

And my kids love these Sunny Gummies so much, there’s no cajoling or convincing involved.

Make space for this mighty supplement asap.

Winter and flu season are just ahead and you’ll need a good friend like Vitamin D3 at your side.

p.s. December 2001: THIS IS THE BEST I HAVE EVER FELT AT THIS TIME OF YEAR. By far. I feel like taking out a billboard on 35W to announce the news. After 30+ years of feeling really really crummy. Last year was a lot better. But this year, I was even more aggressive and have experienced dramatic results. No perpetual exhaustion (the kind of exhaustion that prevents you from using a remote to change a channel), no crying and feelings of hopelessness, no having to go to bed at suppertime.

My solution? I started 10,000 ius of Vitamin D3 (Source Naturals brand) in August and haven’t missed a single day of supplementation. I keep it by my bed and take it right before I go to sleep so that I don’t forget. I’m not saying that you need 10,000 as your dose. I’m saying that for me, I was obviously really really low in Vitamin D3 year round, and most especially from the end of September through the end of April. This is the first time in December, this close to the holidays, that I have enjoyed wrapping gifts and getting together with people. It’s a whole new life.

I am pretty certain, and studies show this, that nearly everyone who lives here needs more Vitamin D3, especially in the winter.

If I had the money, I really would rent a billboard out, right by the Electric Fetus. Couldn’t everybody use a little good news, even if it’s just mine?