“It’s as plain as the nose on your face.”
My grandmother always delivered this little gem with a twinkle in her eye when I found myself struggling to wrap my noodle around something that should have been as obvious as… well… the nose on my face.
It used to make me cringe. But I must admit that lately—when it comes to the obvious importance of vitamin D—I often feel like yelling it from the rooftops.
Because, let’s be clear, vitamin D is CRITICAL to your good health. And this already obvious fact is becoming more and more obvious with each passing day.
For example, the D research that was published just last year in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
We already (strongly) suspected that D plays an important role in regulating blood pressure. In fact, a 2013 study hinted at this this same link . But now, it looks like we know for sure.
Researchers from the University of Australia dug into the genetic data of the over 146,500 participants in D-CarDia, a large-scale collaboration of epidemiological studies. They were looking for proof of a link between low vitamin D levels and high blood pressure, and they found it.
As vitamin D went up blood pressure went down
The randomized study found that for each 10 percent increase in vitamin D there was a measurable drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as an 8.1 percent decrease in the odds of developing hypertension in the first place.
In other words, we have our first proof that supplementing with vitamin D could be an effective way to combat high blood pressure.
But as exciting as this research is, the vitamin D news didn’t stop there. Another large-scale study, this time published in the prestigious journal BMJ, linked D deficiency with a higher risk of a heart- or cancer-related death.
According to researchers, their analysis once again proves that vitamin D has a protective effect, especially as we get older. After analyzing the data from eight different studies that included over 26,000 men and women between the ages of 50 and 79, they concluded that those with the lowest D levels had nearly double the risk of death as those with the highest concentrations!
Their results echo those of yet another D study out of the University of California. In that study researchers found if you’re suffering with lower vitamin D levels you’re more likely to die prematurely.
In other words simply being low on vitamin D could cause you to kick the bucket before your time. The review of 32 previous D studies revealed that premature death from ALL causes is more likely for those with low D levels, not just bone disease as was reported earlier.
Your low vitamin D levels could be killing you!
In fact, about half the death rate was associated with D levels of 30 ng/ml. Now that number might not mean much to you at first glance, but when I tell you two-thirds of the US population has D levels BELOW that, I’m sure it will.
As you probably already know, when your skin is exposed to sunlight it makes vitamin D. You also can pick up some D through your diet. But, unfortunately, many of us are severely deficient in this vital vitamin. And the problem tends to get even worse as we age.
Of course, while singing the praises of vitamin D, researchers in all three of these studies stopped short of recommending that anyone start on D supplements. Instead, they all took the easy way out and recommend further study to confirm their findings.
Now I’d never argue with the importance of more research, after all, the more we know the better off we are. But if you ARE D deficient (your doctor can run a test for you to find out) there’s absolutely no reason to hold off on taking a D supplement until that “more research” arrives.
And unlike those researchers, who no doubt live in fear of upsetting those who hold the purse strings, I’m not afraid to say it.
We already know that D is critical for good health. Research has found that maintaining your D levels may help with diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, depression, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and even muscle weakness as we age.
So why wouldn’t you want to boost your lagging levels?
Besides spending more time in the sun, and eating more vitamin-D rich foods such as tuna, sardines, liver, and eggs, a vitamin D supplement is an excellent way to be sure you’re getting what you need.
You can safely take up to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3… the form of vitamin D most readily absorbed by the body… a day. Just check with your doctor about what’s best for you.
Dr. Allan Spreen
Nationally acclaimed as America’s “Nutrition Physician,” Dr. Spreen has been helping people stay healthy and disease-free as a private doctor, published author, and noted researcher.
In addition to his role as a Senior Member of the prestigious Health Sciences Institute Advisory Panel in Baltimore, MD, Dr. Spreen also coaches diving at the international and Olympic levels. NorthStar Nutritionals is proud to have Dr. Spreen as their Chief Research Advisor.
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