Vitamin D3: The Forgotten Hormone
By: Pamela Egan
What is one of the cheapest and easiest interventions in medicine that would save the most lives and the most money? It reduces inflammation in your heart, brain & joints. It stops bone loss and protects you from osteoporosis, diabetes & obesity. It strengthens your immune system and helps retard bacterial and viral infections. It helps prevent several different cancers. It helps cure fibromyalgia, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome. If you’ve read my past health columns, you know that I am referring to natural, active Vtamin D3, not synthetic D2.
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is essential for life. You may ask why are Americans so deficient in Vitamin D3? Let’s take a look at evolutionary biology. Our ancestors lived naked in the sun for several million years. Through evolution, sunlight was needed to produce Vitamin D. Then 50,000 years ago, some of us migrated north to places with less sun. Then we put on clothes, started working inside and living in cities where buildings blocked the sun.
We started traveling in cars instead of walking or riding horses and glass blocked even more UVB in the sunlight. Only a few years ago, we started actively avoiding the sun and putting on sun block. All this time we humans have been steadily reducing the tissue levels of the most potent steroid hormone in our bodies, one with powerful anti-cancer properties.
The really significant reductions in sunlight exposure have occurred since the industrial revolution, just the time the “diseases of civilization,” like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer became prominent.
So what can a Vitamin D3 deficiency lead to? At least 17 varieties of cancer including: Breast, Bladder, Colon, Lymphoma, Ovarian, Endometrial, and Prostate. Heart disease, High Blood pressure, Stroke, Autoimmune disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes Type 1 & 2, Depression, Chronic Pain, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Muscle Weakness, Obesity, Periodontal Disease, Infectious Disease, & more. Vitamin D3 is a powerful anti-inflammatory and those of us in the Anti-Aging industry that reducing inflammation is half the aging battle won!
The research is astonishing! So how much Vitamin D3 do we need per day?
Ask your primary care provider to check your serum vitamin D3/ 25(OH) level. The optimum range is 80 – 100 ng/ml. No toxicity was seen with D3 levels less than 150 ng/ml.
The optimum dose of Vitamin D3 is 5000 – 15,000IU per day. (I personally take 10,000IU D3 daily to maintain my 25(OH) level between 80 – 100. A weekly dose of 50,000 IU D3 is OK. Fewer supplements are needed if you receive more sun exposure. Maybe they knew something we didn’t know in those nudist colonies.
Pamela Egan, MN, NP, CDE, ABAAHP Diplomat (American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners), is a board certified Adult & Family Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Specialist in Gerontology/Mental Health, & Certified Diabetes Educator. She can be reached at 985-892-3031 or www.pamelaegan.com.