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Is all the hype about Vitamin D true?
November 27, 2012

This is the everything-you-need-to-know-to-be-as-healthy-as-possible newsletter, brought to you by Kristy Russ, pharmacist and health consultant. I have close to 20 years experience in helping people improve their health. I specialize in nutritional medicine, which is the secret of "true" preventative medicine. Yes, if I'm successful in getting people to follow my advice, I will put myself out of a job.

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Super Vitamin D!

So I'm back from a glorious week in Puerto Vallarta. What an incredible vacation- definitely in my top 3! The resort we stayed at had incredible service- we were truly treated like royalty! And it's the first time we've had a vacation without our children in many, MANY years. What a treat to re-connect and do what WE want to do for a change... which was nothing! Yep, we just spent all day on the beds by the pool and relaxed in the sun. Of course, being the nutrition geek that I am, that got me thinking about all the vitamin D my body was making...

Unless you've been living in a cave for the last couple of years, I'm sure you've heard at least some of the excitement about Vitamin D.

It all started with the discovery that people with low levels of vitamin D had a higher risk of certain cancers than those with higher levels. That started a flurry of research, and since then, many other benefits have been discovered.

Here's a summary of the benefits of vitamin D (that we know so far...):

  • It's essential for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous. Your body needs these for lots of things, not the least of which is strong bones. So it's an important part in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
  • It regulates your immune system, which can help prevent illness. One study revealed that supplementing with vitamin D actually prevented more colds and flus than antiviral medication and vaccines.
  • It may help prevent autoimmune diseases, for the same reason as above I would assume. There are many studies linking low vitamin D levels to Multiple Sclerosis. Recently the same benefit has been seen for Crohn's disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • It can help improve asthma and allergy symptoms. The amount and severity of symptoms, as well as actual attacks is decreased when vitamin D levels are high.
  • It may play an important role in keeping your brain working well in later life.
  • It may be important for maintaining a healthy weight. Higher levels of vitamin D were strong predictors of success in a weight loss study.
  • It could be one of the body's main protectors from low levels of radiation.
  • It may prevent urinary incontinence in women. A study showed that having higher levels of vitamin D decreased the risk of incontinence by 45%.
  • It may decrease your chances of having heart disease or a stroke. For people taking vitamin D supplements, those that took 2000IU/day vs. 400IU/day had less arterial stiffness.
  • A deficiency may be responsible for unexplained body aches & pain.
  • It may help prevent/treat depression. Low vitamin D levels cause an increase in parathyroid hormone, which can cause symptoms of depression.
  • It seems to help prevent cancers of all types. All cancer patients had a vitamin D deficiency in a study recently done by Cancer Treatment Centers of America. There have been positive results specifically with breast, colon and prostate cancer.

That's a pretty large list of benefits, wouldn't you agree? Most of these benefits require more research to be substantiated, but so far the results are impressive. There's LOTS of research going on, so more might be discovered...

Here's the problem: 30-40% of Western society is deficient in vitamin D. For those of us living in northern climates (like my fellow Canadians), it's about 90%.

The major source of vitamin D is from the sun. There is very little obtained from diet. So if you aren't exposed to the sun everyday for at least 15-20 minutes during peak vitamin D-producing times, you're likely deficient.

Really, you shouldn't even try to get your vitamin D from the sun, because you would have to be out during the most dangerous time for radiation and sunscreen prevents your body from making it. AND if you don't live relatively close to the equator, it's not even possible during the winter months.

A deficient vitamin D level is considered below 30 ng/dl (75 nmol/L). This is the absolute minimum you should have to prevent problems. The OPTIMAL level (where you're getting all the health benefits they've been discovering) is above 50ng/dl (125 nmol/L). Ask your doctor to test your vitamin D levels, then ask for the actual number. He/she likely won't call you unless your levels are considered deficient, but you could still be far below the optimal level.

Studies show that you need to supplement with at least 1000IU/day during the summer months and 2000IU/day during the winter to get yourself to optimal levels. Double that for those of us living in the Northern US, Canada, Europe, etc.... Some health professionals who are not up-to-date on the research may tell you that 2000IU/day is too much, but not to worry, there is plenty of research to support it- even at amounts far greater than that.

Vitamin D supplements are inexpensive and well-tolerated, so it only makes sense to take advantage of them to reap the health benefits.

I have found an excellent quality product. (If you have seen my webpages about choosing a supplement, then you know how difficult it is to find a quality product.) Each tablet gives you 1000IU of vitamin D, so one bottle will last you 6 months if you're taking it once a day.

Here's the link to purchase a quality vitamin D supplement.

Don't miss out on this cheap "health insurance". Start supplementing with vitamin D now!

Because Laughter Really IS Good Medicine...

To all the women who have ever used a public toilet...

When you have to visit a public toilet, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the cubicle doors. Every cubicle is occupied.

Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the cubicle. You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants!

The dispenser for the modern 'seat covers' (invented by someone's Mum, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your bag on the door hook, if there was one, so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mum would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!) down with your pants and assume "The Stance".

In this position, your aging, toneless, thigh muscles begin to shake. You'd love to sit down, but having not taken time to wipe the seat or to lay toilet paper on it, you hold "The Stance".

To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, 'Dear, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!' Your thighs shake more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that's still in your bag (the bag around your neck, that now you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That will have to do, so you crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It's still smaller than your thumbnail.

Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn't work. The door hits your bag, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest and you and your bag topple backward against the tank of the toilet.

'Occupied!' you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, while losing your footing altogether and sliding down directly onto the TOILET SEAT.

It is wet of course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try.

You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because you're certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, 'You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get.

By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl and spraying a fine mist of water that covers your bum and runs down your legs and into your shoes.

The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force and you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.

At this point, you give up. You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a sweet wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.

You can't figure out how to operate the taps with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting. You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it?)

You yank the paper from your shoe, plonk it in the woman's hand and tell her warmly, "Here, you just might need this". As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used and left the men's toilet. Annoyed, he asks, "What took you so long and why is your bag hanging around your neck?"

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with any public toilets. It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long.

It also answers that other commonly asked question about why women go to the toilets in pairs. It's so the other girl can hold the door, hang onto your bag and hand you Kleenex under the door.

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Nutrition News

Here are links to informative and/or interesting news articles on nutrition...

Notice the topics on all of them. These were posted in just the last 3 weeks. Just goes to show you all the research going on for vitamin D...

Elevated Levels Of Vitamin D During Pregnancy May Prevent Multiple Sclerosis In Mothers

Link Between Vitamin D Deficiency And Type 1 Diabetes

Preventing Clogged Arteries In Diabetics With Vitamin D

Lower Vitamin D Levels, Genetic Variants And Familial Longevity

Protection Against Bladder Cancer Offered By High Levels Of Vitamin D In Plasma

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think!

See you next month...

Good Health to You,

Kristy Russ, BScPharm
Pharmacist and Health Consultant

P.S. Give your body the best nutrition possible. You'll not only feel better now, but you'll also have that quality of life in the future that you've always imagined for yourself. Click here to find out more.

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