Opinion

Thiel: Lack of vitamin D intake leaves us susceptible to sickness

My patients often ask me what I think the most important supplement is.

One of my top three most definitely includes vitamin D.

It is estimated that 75 per cent of North Americans are vitamin D deficient.

Normally, vitamin D is converted from its inactive form to its active form in the presence of sunlight.

This is most definitely a problem for those of us living in northern climates where sunlight is restricted during the winter months. Is it any wonder why the cold and flu season always takes place during the darker months of the year?

It is because we are profoundly vitamin D deficient during those months. It is no coincidence.

In fact, vitamin D deficiencies will lead to a significant increase in frequency of colds and flus, cardiovascular disease in conjunction with inflammatory diseases and cancer. There is a significant body of research that proves that vitamin D supplementation to optimum levels profoundly decreased the incidence of cancer and cardiovascular disease in addition to osteoporosis.

Deficiencies in this most important vitamin will also lead to increases in blood pressure, muscle weakness and pain, depression and lethargy.

When one studies the human genome, 10 per cent of the entire genome relies on vitamin D for its proper manufacturing.

There is no other substance that has this much of a profound effect on our genes in this proportion.

Some archaic research states that 400 international units of vitamin D a day is sufficient. Recent research is stating that this is simply not so. So how much do we need?

The answer lies in the blood test. Our optimal vitamin D levels should be 50 to 80 ng per milliliter of blood.

This is a test we should all have done as the majority of us are profoundly deficient.

One of vitamin D’s most important functions is that it activates and modulates the immune response.

Simply put, it stimulates your immune response and to the proper degree.

With most of my patients who are suffering from a global form of inflammation I strongly suggest supplementing with vitamin D.

In physiology the precursors to inflammation are arachidonic acid which will convert to prostaglandin E2.

This is the source of the majority of our inflammation and all disease processes from acne to cancer, begin with one common instigating factor—inflammation.

Physiologically, vitamin D stops the conversion of arachidonic acid to prostaglandin E2.

One thing is for sure, the importance of vitamin D cannot be underestimated as its self-preservation and protective properties are well-established.

Every human being should be supplementing with vitamin D, especially during these dark winter months. It is singularly the most important and simplest thing you can do to protect yourself from colds to cancer.

Markus Thiel is a chiropractor practicing in Kelowna.

askdrthiel@shaw.ca

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