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Want to get enough vitamin D? Try supplements — or sunshine

August 7, 2015
  • By Beverly Merz, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch


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September 15, 2015

i have read in one article that this vitamin helps also in prevention of colon cancer,metabolic disorders and Rickets ( syndrome that affects children who have vitamin D deficiency and include deformities of the joints and bones, poor growth and development.)

Robert Oh
September 1, 2015

I’m surprised that this article did not mention natural FOOD sources of Vitamin D. Primarily Wild Salmon and mushrooms. There are other sources than just supplements and sunshine, and these foods have the highest sources. Other sources, include eggs, other fish and other mushrooms.

August 26, 2015

That app for sunshine levels sounds like a great idea. I was reading about the importance of healthy levels of sunshine for vitamin D but I was confused about how to measure exactly how much sun is needed. I would definitely download that app. Where we are the sun is not at all strong in the winter so I take supplements, but when traveling it would be good to know how much sun I should be getting.

Clarence anak david singen
August 14, 2015

Vitamin C very important for our body.

August 13, 2015

vitamin C is also really important

Neha Sahaay
August 13, 2015

Great article!!! Thanks for letting us know the importance and sources of vitamin D. It has proved to be great help.

Florist in Lexington KY
August 12, 2015

there is no doubt sun is a grate blessing of Allah .sun is a grate way to get Vitim d.this is so nice site because about sun shine tanks putting my comments on yours site

Wedding florist in Lexington KY
August 12, 2015

there is no doubt sun is a grate blessing of Allah .sun is a grate way to get Vitim d.this is so nice site because about sun shine tanks putting my comments on yours site

Florist in Lexington KY
August 12, 2015

there is no sun is a great blessing of Allah .sun shine is a grate way to get Vitim c.this post so nice because this is about important of sun.tanks putting my comments

August 12, 2015

Same problem here as Richard.

August 11, 2015

Day to day many peoples not getting all vitamins especially Vitamin -D, All peoples should aware about this lack of vitamin-d. Pls make healthy life with wealth.

Sam Wik
August 11, 2015

Well I think sunshine is the best source to get vitamin D …. wouldn’t have to take any supplement ….. just woke up early in morning & take regular work in the sunlight within the first hour of the day !!!

Arian Ward
August 9, 2015

I’m not a healthcare practitioner, altho many friends and colleagues have come to me for healthcare advice over the years because of my special interest in and decades of study and use of integrative medicine. I believe integrative medicine is the best future alternative path for healthcare in all aspects: reducing and stabilizing costs; filling the increasing gaps in coverage for certain geographic areas, specialties, demographic segments, and forms of coverage (insurance, Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.); overcoming the deficiencies of a system biased towards profits over the social good particularly over the holistic health of any individual, a system heavily influenced and in some cases, totally controlled by special interests like big PHARMA, the AMA and other powerful professional groups/lobbies, and big medical corporations that now control most U.S. hospitals and who also now own a majority of U.S. allopathic clinics (and still increasing with no regulatory constraints on mergers and acquisitions and their resultant monopolies or trusts – the #1 reason for healthcare costs in the U.S. being at least 3x more expensive per capita than any other country on earth with healthcare quality/results worse than all other countries of comparable wealth/prosperity ); a bias towards looking at the body as a biomechanical device that can be viewed and fixed one part or subsystem at a time rather than holistically where only by viewing and acting upon the whole system – all aspects or subsystems of the body, mind, feelings, spirit, can you gain systemic, long term healing and well being, …. Integrative medicine is just what the name implies – the integration of CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) with allopathic/conventional/mainstream medicine, as well as the integration of all practice areas/specialties in a much more collaborative way even just within allopathic medicine compared to the fragmented, poorly connected system we have today. I provide this intro as my credentialing for being more than the average patient but less than a formally educated, certified healthcare practitioner.

I’ve learned integrative medicine the hard way, out of necessity since it is almost non-existent today in the U.S. and in most of the world. If I wasn’t doing the integration across all the different practice areas and practitioners I’ve seen across the entire country and even a few overseas, I would have died long ago because of the number of life threatening illnesses, or at least I would have been severely limited in my work and lifestyle due to the number of debilitating conditions I’ve had and still have for the most part.

Coming from this point of view (remember I’m not a doctor and legally can’t give medical advice, another crazy part of the U.S. medical system that no other part of the world requires), here are my personal opinions and practices in the subject area of this article:

I have osteopenia due to long term use of steroids for ulcerative colitis. Another allopathic failure in prescribing steroids without prescribing bone building supplements to compensate for the steroids leaching calcium out of my bones and teeth. Result was osteoporosis in my bones, and my teeth losing so much of their calcium they fell apart and I’ve had to have over half of my teeth pulled, when they couldn’t be repaired, or crowned. But I’ve since diligently self-prescribed and adminstered bone building supplements – calcium and other minerals and Vitamin D, + Vitamin C to assist with absorption. As a result, I’ve improved my bone density back to normal in some bones and osteopenia in the others, with none still showing the lowest density – osteoporosis.

Unfortunately, I had untreated or undertreated high blood pressure for too long and it resulted in kidney degeneration = chronic kidney disease. Since calcium is one of the toughest substances for the kidneys to process, I have been told by a nephrologist (specialist in the urinary tract, incl. kidneys) to stop taking all supplemental calcium to help stop my rapidly worsening kidney disease. He has recommended that I take 2000 iu daily of Vitamin D instead. My PCP (primary care physician) who is more holistic/integrative than my nephrologist, told me I can take as much as 5000 iu daily of Vit D. She also told me to increase my load bearing exercise, by wearing ankle weights when I go for my daily hike. Basically, what load bearing exercise like lifting or carrying weights does is trigger the body’s automatic response of increasing bone mass to enable it to handle the increased load without bone fractures. She says that combo of vitD + load bearing exercise should be enough to compensate for not taking supplemental calcium and to prevent further loss of bone density. The body will increase its absorption of the needed vitamins and minerals from what I eat, which should be sufficient since I eat a balanced, healthy diet.

Bottom line – I’ve been told and my experience has demonstrated that the recommended daily dose of Vitamin D cited in this article is FAR TOO LOW. Instead, I should be taking 2000-5000 iu daily + include load bearing exercise in my daily routine.

Richard Goodbrand
August 7, 2015

Did a search in the IPAD App Store for ‘dminder’ and nothing was found. Does it go by another name? Or does it only work for US ?

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