We’ve all heard about the importance of vitamin D and it seems the “new” test is to check your vitamin D level.  OK, you think, I can do that someday and then you forget all about it.  So, this is just a gentle reminder to get it done.

What is the role of vitamin D?

Great question!  A lot of research has been done on this important nutrient in recent years.  Some powerful research has shown that daily intake of vitamin D by adults ranging between 4,000—8,000 IU’s are needed to maintain blood levels to reduce the risk by about half of breast cancer, colon cancer, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes.  This is amazing people.

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for good bone health.  Vitamin D is also extremely important in your immune system.  It also helps your muscular and nervous systems to function correctly.  So, it has many functions when it comes to your health.

So, what is vitamin D??

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that virtually influences every cell in your body.  Receptors that respond to vitamin D have been found in nearly every type of human cell from your bones to your brain.  And it is believed to be one of the most potent cancer fighters.  Many studies have indicated that optimizing your vitamin D levels could help you to prevent at least 16 different types of cancer including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, breast, prostate and skin cancers.  Research suggests that women with low levels of vitamin D may have a higher risk of breast cancer as vitamin D may play a role in controlling normal breast cell growth and may be able to stop breast cancer cells from growing.  Your organs can convert the vitamin D in your bloodstream into calcitriol, which is the hormonal or activated version of vitamin D.  Your organs will then use the calcitriol to repair damaged cells including damage from cancer cells and tumors.

Many alternative doctors are concerned that Americans simply are not getting enough vitamin D to maintain healthy bones, much less getting enough to fight off the diseases that vitamin D has been shown to cut the risk of in half.

WHAT DO DOCTORS RECOMMEND?

Most doctors will recommend that you get your vitamin D levels checked with a simple blood test.  This is a good beginning to be sure.  If your levels are low, there are these typical recommendations:

1. Your best source of vitamin D is exposure to the sun without sunblock on your skin until your skin turns the lightest shade of pink.  But, there are several variables that can affect how much vitamin D you’ll produce from sunlight such as: the darker the skin, the less vitamin D produced; the farther you live from the equator, the less vitamin D produced; and fewer daylight hours means you produce less vitamin D.  In the next paragraph, I let you in on my story about sunlight and vitamin D.

2. Take a vitamin D supplement.  And most don’t even tell you to take the D3 form of the vitamin, NOT the D2 form.  Notice how they rarely suggest eating foods that are naturally high in vitamin D.  Some foods rich in vitamin D are:  salmon, herring, oysters, sardines, pastured egg yolks, and steelhead trout to name a few.  Any “fortified” milk, orange juice and soymilk use synthetic vitamin D.  I always recommend eating natural foods.

This all sounds fairly logical, right?  However, what if you cannot convert sunlight into vitamin D?  What if your vitamin D receptor sites aren’t taking up vitamin D correctly?  These are all extremely important scenarios when it comes to your vitamin D levels and your ability to fight off breast cancer.  How can you test for this?  So glad you asked!!  This is one of the items we check for when we run your genomic test for ER+ breast cancer prevention.  We look closely at several nutrients and vitamin D is one of them.  For example, I found out that I could spend many hours of the day in the sun and my body wouldn’t convert any to vitamin D.  And I found out that my receptor sites on my cells that receive vitamin D weren’t readily receiving it.  You see how important it is to know this information?  I have always been an active, outdoor woman hiking, walking, bicycling and swimming.  All the time thinking I was getting enough vitamin D to take care of my bones and my breasts.  I was shocked when I learned that all that time spent in the sun didn’t change my protection from osteoporosis or breast cancer.

So, what did I do?  Well, the genomic test that I do with my clients (and myself) doesn’t just show you the problem, it gives you answers and solutions!  You read that right, it gives you solutions!!  I discovered that I had to take a very specific form of vitamin D to help my receptor sites absorb it more easily.  I NEVER would have known this information without taking this genomic test.  Now I just get my levels checked to make sure I am taking enough to help my immune system stay strong to help me fight many diseases – even breast cancer.  It is that simple, ladies.

Low vitamin D levels are serious.  Low levels can affect your susceptibility to many diseases such as breast cancer, cancer in general, diabetes, infertility, macular degeneration, obesity, arthritis and so many others.  If you learn you have low levels, you need to discover WHY your levels are low and HOW your body is processing vitamin D.  This genomic test is so simple, and gives you priceless information that can save you a lot of grief, money and even your life!  

Click HERE to get my “Healthy Tips for Healthy Tits” for more information on vitamin D.