The Great Vitamin-D Scam
By Joshua Corn
By now, you’re probably aware of the importance of vitamin D. Beyond supporting strong bones and muscles, a healthy immune system and an active brain, research shows that maintaining optimal vitamin D levels can help you avoid a wide range of chronic health problems and live a longer, healthier life.[1,2,3]
The unfortunate fact, however, is that most of us have critically low levels of vitamin D, due to the fact that we don’t spend enough time in the sun. And when we do venture outdoors, we often go out of our way to “protect” ourselves from the sun’s ravages.
Guess What? You’re Probably Vitamin D Deficient
Unfortunately, despite growing awareness of the role vitamin D plays in maintaining optimal health, leading experts estimate that up to 75% of all adults are low in vitamin D! The problem is that most people mistakenly assume that their vitamin D levels are just fine, even though the odds are stacked against them. The fact is, unless you are taking steps to maintain healthy vitamin D levels, you are most likely vitamin D deficient.
Why Are So Many People at Risk?
Vitamin D deficiency has become a global epidemic for one simple reason: people don’t get enough sun exposure. The human body only produces vitamin D in response to ultraviolet rays from the sun. While our bodies are designed to spend most of our time outdoors, the majority of us spend our days confined inside buildings. Ultraviolet rays cannot penetrate glass, so even if you’re in a car or in a sunny room, your body is not producing vitamin D.
Additionally, your body’s vitamin D production becomes less efficient with age, and the fact that people are living longer means that a growing number of older people are severely deficient.
Don’t Get Scammed: The Sun Is Not “Evil”
For years now, misinformed doctors, as well as the sunscreen and cosmetics industries, have made the sun out to be the “boogey man.” They advise that the sun’s rays are very damaging, and this has scared us into believing that we should never so much as leave the house without wearing sunscreen.
Yet breakthrough research has shown that wearing sunscreen significantly interferes with the body’s ability to produce vitamin D from sun exposure. In fact, many experts now recommend limited daily exposure to the sun without sunscreen.
However, for most people, the issue is more about not being able to spend enough time outside to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D regardless.
What Are the Signs of Deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency may be symptomless at first, but as it progresses it often causes depression, cognitive problems, chronic pain, fragile bones and a weak immune system. Even more troubling is that studies have linked low vitamin D levels to increased risk for serious health conditions that can result in premature death.[5,6,7]
Sadly, many people are given a cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs to “treat” a simple nutritional deficiency. If you have any nagging concerns that your doctor seemingly can’t resolve, increasing your body’s vitamin D levels may just be the natural remedy you’ve been searching for.
The Best Way to Make Sure You’re Protected
There are only two ways to get vitamin D in the amounts you need for optimal health: sun exposure and vitamin D supplementation. You can’t get it from food, despite what the dairy industry might like you to believe. While some products like milk are fortified with vitamin D, in almost all cases, the amount used is far too low to correct a deficiency.
So for most people, unless you happen to work outdoors, a vitamin D supplement is a must. You may eventually want to get your vitamin D levels tested by your doctor, but you shouldn’t wait to start increasing your levels. Vitamin D is one of the least toxic substances known making it hard to overdue it. The bottom line is that you’re better safe than sorry.
Don’t Take the Wrong Type of Vitamin D!
Your doctor is most likely to recommend vitamin D2, which is the synthetic form of vitamin D. Why? Because the pharmaceutical companies cannot patent natural compounds, so in order to make money, they have to create and market synthetic versions — even if they are proven to be less effective than the real thing.
Since your doctor is unlikely to send you to the store to pick up a natural dietary supplement, he or she will probably write you a prescription for the synthetic D2 version, which has been shown to be poorly absorbed and less effective than the natural form. Just because your doctor prescribes it doesn’t mean it’s more effective! The better option is to take vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol). It’s more absorbable and provides the greatest benefits.Continued...