Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vitamin D Deficiency a big problem

For years the sun has been considered public enemy number one, causing skin damage, premature aging, skin pigmentations and increasing our risk of skin cancer. But before you head for the shade when the sun is out, consider the fact that those so called nasty UV rays are needed in the production of vitamin D and by blocking out the sun, you are risking a deficiency that could leave you open to all sorts of ailments.

An increasing number of scientific studies are now pointing to vitamin-D deficiency as a factor in a catalogue of illnesses including colds and flu, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, auto-immune disorders, depression, osteoporosis and numerous cancers. It has even been suggested as one possible cause of autism.

At the root of the rate of deficiency is the modern-day habit of avoiding sun exposure. Add to that busy lifestyles such as city-living which mean we actually spend more time indoors than our ancestors did. Because of that you have a population that is not getting enough exposure to uv light to produce the vitamin D their body needs.

Around 50 per cent of Americans are believed to have insufficient levels of vitamin D - and living in sunny climates doesn't necessary make you less prone to deficiencies. Studies in Australia have noted similar deficiencies, especially among the darker skinned and the elderly, while a recent study by the University of Hong Kong revealed more than 60 per cent of Hong Kong people were insufficient in vitamin D.

Professor Annie Kung Wai-chee, who led the study, said part of the problem was the common misconception that people living in sunny climates get all the sun and therefore the vitamin D they need without trying.

In addition, dark-skinned people are more at risk because the melanin that colours the skin works like a sun-block preventing the UVB rays being synthesized into vitamin D.

The truth is vitamin D is not a vitamin but a type of hormone that plays an important role in the control of calcium. It has long been known to encourage healthy bones, reduce inflammation, and prevent the bone disease rickets in children and osteoporosis later in life.

Since time began, humans have gotten most of their vitamin D from the sun. Just 15-20 minutes in bright sunshine produces 10,000 to 20,000 IU (international units) of vitamin D - some 50 times the amount you can get in many Vitamin D supplements.

Remember that 20 minutes in the tanning unit of your choice is equal to two hours in the sun.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Exposure to UVB light helps Vitamin D levels

Are you tired of hearing all the negative comments about tanning? Would you like to know the truth not slanted by this faction or that or by this advertiser or that but some real facts from which you can learn.

In order to help you to understand I am constantly reading and studying about such things as Vitamin D and the pros and cons of having low levels of vitamin d and how UV light plays into your bodies levels of vitamin D.

This week I read a study being published in the January 2012 edition of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, that study found that obese children with lower levels of vitamin d had higher degrees of insulin resistance, researchers said.

Though they stopped short of concluding that vitamin D dieficiency causes abnormal glucose metabolism researchers from the University of Texas said their study suggests that low viatmin D levels may play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes.

Meanwhile, a study published last month out of the University of Missouri-Columbia found that obese teenagers need significantly more vitamin D than their leaner courterparts - seven times more than the current daily recommended intake of 600 Internationl Units.

That's because obese adolescents absorb vitamin D in their fat stores and are about half as efficient as their leaner counterparts at metabolizing their benefits, researchers said.

Vitamin D is a key nutrient for everyone and there are three ways to obtain it: from the UV light from the sun or tanning bed, food or supplements. Here's what you need to know about each source.

Sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D. It is free and abundant. The ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun convert a precursor into vitamin D, which becomes 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the liver and is then activated to 1, 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the kidneys. A person sitting outside in a bathing suit or by being exposed to UVB rays from a tanning unit gets more vitamin D in 20 minutes than from drinking 200 glasses of milk. In fact, many experts suggest getting even 10 minutes of unprotected UVB exposure on the arms and face or arms and legs, three times weekly helps the bodies levels of Vitamin D. But getting vitamin D from the sun isn't that simple. UVB rays vary greatly depending on latitude, cloud cover, time of year and time of day. Above 42 degrees north latitude, the sun’s rays do not provide sufficient D from November through February, for example. Remember thought that Tanning Units control the length of exposure time and they do not have clouds drifting by to change intesity of the UVB Rays.

Vitamin D3 supplementation is an effective alternative to UV exposure, provided adequate doses are taken. Much individual variation exists in response to supplemental vitamin D. The amount needed to raise and or maintain blood serum levels for one person may not be enough for another. This can be due to various factors such as age, weight, absorption, overall health and amount of sun exposure.

Vitamn D deficiency is a worldwide epidemic, with recent estimates indicating greater than 50% of the global population is at risk.