What Makes Vitamin D so Special?

First, it’s important to realize that vitamin D is not “just a vitamin,” but rather the only known substrate for a potent, pleiotropic (meaning it produces multiple effects), repair and maintenance seco-steroid hormone that serves multiple gene-regulatory functions in your body.

Dr. Heaney, a vitamin D super-specialist, vividly explains that each cell in your body has its own DNA library that contains information needed to deal with virtually every kind of stimulus it may encounter, and the master key to enter this library is activated vitamin D.

For example, memory ductile cells in the breast need vitamin D to access DNA that enables the response to estrogen. So naturally, without sufficient amounts of vitamin D, your cells cannot access their DNA libraries and their functions are thereby impaired.

This is why vitamin D functions in so many different tissues, and affects such a large number of different diseases and health conditions. So far, scientists have found about 3,000 genes that are upregulated by vitamin D. Receptors that respond to the vitamin have been found in almost every type of human cell, from your brain to your bones. And researchers keep finding health benefits from vitamin D in virtually every area they look.

Vitamin D Deficiency May Radically Hamper Your Overall Health

Just one example of an important gene that vitamin D up-regulates is your ability to fight infections, including the flu. It produces over 200 anti-microbial peptides, the most important of which is cathelicidin, a naturally occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Optimizing your vitamin D levels can also help you to prevent as many as 16 different types of cancer including pancreatic, lung, breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancers.

But perhaps most important to note is that vitamin D can lower your risk of dying from any cause, according to a new European meta-analysis published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2007.

Another group of researchers have calculated that simply increasing levels of vitamin D3 could prevent diseases that claim nearly 1 million lives throughout the world each year, as the widespread vitamin D deficiency seen today is now thought to fuel an astonishingly diverse array of common chronic diseases, such as:


Cancer

Hypertension

Heart disease

Autism

Obesity

Rheumatoid arthritis

Diabetes 1 and 2

Multiple Sclerosis

Crohn’s disease

Cold & Flu

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Tuberculosis

Septicemia

Signs of aging

Dementia

Eczema & Psoriasis

Insomnia

Hearing loss

Muscle pain

Cavities

Periodontal disease

Osteoporosis

Macular degeneration

Reduced C-section risk

Pre eclampsia

Seizures

Infertility

Asthma

Cystic fibrosis

Migraines

Depression

Alzheimer’s disease

Schizophrenia

It’s absolutely tragic that dermatologists and sunscreen manufacturers have done such a thorough job of scaring people out of the sun – your optimal source for natural vitamin D. I believe this is one of the major influences that has contributed to the vitamin D epidemic we’re now facing.

But Why Doesn’t Everyone Get the Same Dysfunctions When Deficient?

That’s a good question.

As Dr. Heaney explains, cells do have alternative ways to access their DNA information – they can work around the problem without the proper plans, so to speak – but it’s never quite as effective.  Depending on your overall state of health and other dysfunctions, your cells may be more or less efficient at finding effective work-arounds, and this will determine how your health is affected if you’re vitamin D deficient.

Health Benefits are Dose Dependent

It’s important to note, however, that reaping the health benefits of vitamin D is not like turning a light switch. It’s not a matter of having ‘some vitamin D’ or not – it’s all a question of dose.

In order to reap the benefits you need to make sure your levels are within therapeutic range.

According to Dr. Heaney, your body requires 4,000 IU’s daily just to maintain its current vitamin D level. So in order to raise your levels, you’d have to increase either your exposure to sunshine, or supplement with oral vitamin D3 (which I do not recommend without having your levels tested first).

One thing is clear. If you maintain optimal vitamin D levels, your cells will function optimally; helping to prevent all manner of disease, and maintain good health. Ask us about Testing & Dosage!

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One Response to “What Makes Vitamin D so Special?”

  1. mattresses Says:

    Thanks for this valuable info on vitamin D3. It’s an amazing list of conditions it can benefit. In fact it’s difficult to even think of anything not on that list.

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