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Vitamin D3 is created naturally, in your skin and it plays an important role in your overall health.

The best way to get your Vitamin D is through sunlight, whether natural or manufactured. People who are exposed to adequate amounts of UV rays will be able to maintain healthy levels of Vitamin D. This is because UV light causes your skin to create a daily dose of the vitamin in your body. If you are not being exposed to sunlight and are not tanning indoors, Vitamin D supplements are advisable. Although some foods have Vitamin D in them, getting enough through eating alone is extremely difficult.

Vitamin D encourages and stimulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in our bodies, helping us metabolize this essential prohormone. This is important for healthy bones and teeth because without Vitamin D, the percentage of calcium that you are ingesting through milk or supplements is most likely passing straight through your system. Its production in the body also helps utilize cholesterol.

Vitamin D has also been shown to boost the immune system. Studies have shown that it can reduce the likelihood of developing colds and flues.

There is even evidence pointing to a connection between adequate levels of Vitamin D and lowered risk of cancer; improved brain function in later years, helping offset or diminish the incidence of Alzheimer's disease. It can also reduce the symptoms and severity for asthma sufferers. There is circumstantial evidence that Vitamin D may even reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis, based on the much lower incidence of the disease in tropical climates.

New studies on the health benefits of Vitamin D are published every day as scientists and doctors learn more about this amazing, naturally occurring nutrient. Check out some of the most recent articles through the links below or, stop by the Discussions section of our Facebook page for the latest news.

"A Washington, D.C., dermatologist was unable to identify her 14-year-old son's severe vitamin D deficiency even after he complained of constant pain, headaches, exhaustion, body aches and stomach pain — classic signs of severe vitamin D deficiency, NBC News-Washington reported in a televised story."

"It seems every week brings new evidence that vitamin D affects not only our bone strength but a host of other diseases..."

"A four-year clinical trial involving 1,200 women found those taking the vitamin had about a 60-per-cent reduction in cancer incidence, compared with those who didn't take it, a drop so large — twice the impact on cancer attributed to smoking — it almost looks like a typographical error."

"Not only is vitamin D involved in calcium and bone metabolism including the prevention of osteoporosis, but it has several other functions of equal import. It was discovered by Dr. Michael Holick that vitamin D is converted to 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 (calcitriol) in the liver and kidneys, and this latter hormone is an important factor in inhibiting cancer cell growth."

" In the February 2, 2005 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute a study confirmed that exposure to the sun reduces the risk of skin cancer.4 Additional studies have shown that lifeguards in Australia have the lowest rates of melanoma, the people who bake all day in the hot sun.

"...there is no longer any doubt that maintaining an optimal level of vitamin D plays a key role in human health or that individuals who have a deficient/insufficient blood level dramatically increase their likelihood of developing one of the diseases listed previously in this article. In fact, maintaining an optimal blood level of vitamin D significantly decreases the probability of dying prematurely. Moreover, unless and until there is scientific proof that dietary and supplemental vitamin D is equal to or better than UVR-induced vitamin D, it is scientifically unacceptable to rely on the former and ignore the latter."

"Panicked into avoiding sunlight by health experts, we are now dying in our thousands from diseases linked to deficiencies of vitamin D. But still the exaggerated warnings come."

"Session chair Dr. Richard L. Gallo, a coauthor of the recent Institute of Medicine report (pdf) on vitamin D, said that "the suggestion in the WHI that lower vitamin D serum levels have a higher associated risk of melanoma is very intriguing and exciting." "

"The first event in cancer is loss of communication among cells due to, among other things, low vitamin D and calcium levels," said epidemiologist Cedric Garland, DrPH...

"Vitamin D deficiency is a highly prevalent condition that is present in 40% to 80% of pregnant women. There is emerging evidence that vitamin D deficiency may be a risk modifying factor for many chronic diseases, including... "

"...that study "found that less than three-tenths of 1 percent who tanned frequently developed melanoma...""

"...evidence is beginning to emerge that sunlight exposure, particularly as it relates to the vitamin D synthesized in the skin under the influence of solar radiation, might have a beneficial influence for certain cancers."

"We know sufficient now about Vitamin D to forge new policies that will save many lives."

"... vitamin D is necessary for your body to absorb and integrate calcium into your bone structure, being deficient in vitamin D is a sure way to end up diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia. To reverse this condition, Gwyneth Paltrow was prescribed high dose vitamin D and told to spend more time in the sun. (Good advice!)"

Disclaimer: We do our best to educate ourselves and inform our clients of the facts as we've discovered them. The links and articles posted above are for your information only and should not be taken as a substitute for the guidance of a professional physician. Feel free to ask if your doctor has looked into the research on Vitamin D specifically, so that you are getting solid medical advice based on current facts.