By Elizabeth Keller, APRN-BC
Vitamin D has long been recognized as a Vitamin. Vitamins are enhancing our nutrition and the working of our cells. What has not been recognized until recently is that Vitamin D is also a hormone. As a Vitamin most people know that Vitamin D builds strong bones, as a hormone most people do not know it is an immune system modulator. This means Vitamin D3 is an officer in the army you have against infection and diseases.
Think of hormones as the middle managers in a corporation. The hormones take information from the executive in the brain then deliver and send orders to the workers in the cells of the body. Can you imagine what a corporation would be like without middle management? Short answer is chaos. Vitamin D works specifically to stimulate the immune system cells, as monocytes, neutrophils and peptides. A Vitamin D deficiency influences the development of auto -immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. A Vitamin D deficiency also leads to the decrease of cognitive function and allergies. The most surprising news of all is that this humble Vitamin is proving to decrease the risk of cancer significantly. This is important news since it is estimated that 50% of American men and 30% of American women will develop some kind of cancer. You can have your Vitamin D level checked with your annual blood work. Vitamin D is so much more than the prevention of rickets. And of course Vitamin D is critical to the prevention of Osteoporosis. The appropriate dose for supplementation is controversial. The dose recommended in my training program is 5000 i.u. every day, with the overall Vitamin D level of 90. Since Vitamin D is a fat soluble Vitamin an overdose is possible. It is important while replacing Vitamin D, to have blood levels monitored. Please follow up on this important health recommendation as soon as you can.
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