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Is all the hype about Vitamin D true?
October 07, 2014

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 help people get healthy, and more importantly, stay that way so they're not miserable and just slowly dying for the last 20 years of their lives, which IS the "norm" today.

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Brrrr! As I'm writing this, I'm sitting under a blanket and drinking tea to try and stay warm. I even had to put socks on! Egads! Our fabulously warm September is done and it's definitely fall.

Now that we're not seeing the sun for as long and we're unlikely to be out in it for the next several months (8 for me :( , it's time to discuss your vitamin D needs...

Super Vitamin D!

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!

Another Grateful Customer...

"At the time I started Kristy's program in January 2011, I was struggling to stay a size 16. Up until then I knew I was quite overweight but was too scared to weigh myself until I was prepared to do something about it. I had always considered myself to be relatively active and in good shape but because of some food addictions and other things I was unaware of, I just couldn't get rid of the extra pounds.

I am now 41 pounds lighter and am wearing size 6 pants and even tops that are a size small! I had to buy lots of new clothes in that first co-workers (or family) would candidly tell me to NEVER wear those pants again as I looked like a bag lady. I have one particular saleslady at my favourite clothing store who lights up when I come in. She would give me a once-over and say "Well, you look like you've lost some more are you doing this?" She knew me when I bought size 16 clothes and we both can't believe the change.

My Coles Notes version of the program would be: Deciding to start the program was the biggest hurdle I had to overcome. Once the decision was made, it was smooth sailing. There is nothing "diet-like" about the program; I never went hungry or felt like I was missing out. It is a lifestyle that I have adopted with ease. I feel great, am often told I look great and it was the easiest improvement to my health that I have ever made. I have lost 41 lbs, 5 dress sizes and no doubt added years to my life! Colleen H.

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.

You can't teach an old dog new.........................math.

If you lie down with the dogs, you'll..stink in the morning.

The pen is mightier than the...........................pigs.

An idle mind is.......................the best way to relax.

Where there's smoke, there's......................pollution.

Happy the bride who...................gets all the presents.

A penny saved is...................................not much.

Two's company, three's.......................the musketeers.

Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry have to blow your nose.

Children should be seen and not.........spanked or grounded.

When the blind leadeth the blind.........get out of the way.

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