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What's All the Buzz About Vitamin D?

Vitamin D has been in the news a lot these days and you might be wondering what all the buzz is about. Most of us know that our bodies produce vitamin D through exposure to sunlight but many of us are still in the dark about the importance of getting enough of it.

Vitamin D has been shown to have preventative effects against depression, osteoporosis, prostate cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, and even the common cold and flu. Some scientists even believe it has the potential to stave off heart disease, and vitamin D deficiency can cause a bone-wasting disease called Rickets and has even been suggested as a cause for schizophrenia. Less severe but more common effects of vitamin D deficiency are muscle weakness, aches, and pains, which are often incorrectly diagnosed as fibromyalgia.

"So what's the big deal" you might say, "I should be getting enough from the sunlight, right?"

Well, in an ideal climate you might be right, but the truth is that most Canadians and Americans are not getting even close to enough vitamin D from sun exposure. In fact vitamin D deficiency in North America has reached almost epidemic levels. 40%-60% of the US population and 70% of Canadians are vitamin D deficient and these numbers are even higher for pregnant women. Even vitamin D enriched foods are not providing us with enough since they contain only very small amounts. Between busy schedules, northern climates, clothing that covers most of our bodies, and fear of skin cancer, your average North American is not getting nearly enough exposure to sunlight.

What can you do?

The most effective and immediate way to stop vitamin D deficiency is through supplementation. We recommend using a liquid form because your body will absorb more of it and liquid forms give you more for your money. The RDA value for vitamin D is only 400iu, and this should be ignored. Scientific research shows that between 5,000 and 10,000iu daily is most effective. You can ask your doctor to test your blood to see if you are deficient, but if you live in the northern hemisphere, you are likely deficient and would probably benefit from at least a small amount of supplemental vitamin D.
And that's the buzz about vitamin D.

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