Can vitamin d make you immortal?
One of the problems with the trials and tribulations of getting older, that I discuss almost daily with our patients at Desert Valley Chiropractic, is…..well…….. there is no good alternative to aging! We simple must do our best to age well.
So, can taking vitamin D make you immortal? Umm No. But, it can reduce your chances of mortality by around 30%. Now stats like that can sometimes make you laugh a bit because, well we all are going to die of something eventually, right? However, what this is referring to is by age and risk factor you’re are still 30% less likely to die than your peer group just by keeping your vitamin D levels at a healthy level. Not bad.
But what is a good level and how do I find mine?
Medically they tend to use a range of about 30-90. They also tend to give you your results in terms of deficient or not. You are not usually flagged in the medical model until you are below a 30. In the functional model where we focus on what keeps you in good health and functioning 30 is too low. We like to see 50-70. So getting a vitamin D test and looking at that actual number is a great place to start. Vitamin D is not part of a standard CBC but can easily be added by your doctor and often even requested by the patient at some labs. I recommend always asking for it. You can also use an easy at home test like omega quant and do it yourself with a quick finger stick and mail it in with no additional lab fees. We are carrying these tests at the office, and we have all done them ourselves you can ask any of us questions about it!
How do you use this one health measure and vitamin to your best advantage?
One of the great things about vitamin D is the more the learn the better it gets. This one vitamin and health stat is a great measure of both your likelihood of acquiring a major medical condition and your outcome if you do. If your number is below 50 you can benefit functionally from an increase in that value. 10k IU a day is not uncommon to boost you up but you should speak with a healthcare professional who is trained in functional medicine. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin making toxicity possible therefore the testing and recommendations of a professional are beneficial. If you are testing and supplementing in an effort to raise your D levels, you should be testing every 3-6 months depending on levels and dosing. It is not much given the immense benefits of maintaining these levels at a healthy range. If you would like to test your vitamin D levels stop by the office and grab a testing kit or talk to one of us on your next visit. We carry both the tests and high quality vitamin D supplements in the office.
Vitamin D is the only vitamin that can be produced by our bodies. While other vitamins must be taken in through diet or supplementation, our bodies produce vitamin D when our skin is exposed to UV rays from the sun.
The best food sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, fatty fish, liver, and grass-fed cheese and butter.
However, for many people, supplementation may be necessary to increase their levels of vitamin D to optimal levels. It is important to test your level of vitamin D regularly to ensure it is optimal and to prevent health issues associated with deficiencies.
Vitamin D is unique in that it functions as a prohormone Prohormones are substances that the body converts to a hormone.
Vitamin D obtained from sun exposure, food, and supplements is biologically inert and must be activated by the body.
Vitamins are either water soluble or fat soluble. Vitamin D, along with vitamins A, E, and K, are fat soluble which means they need a source of fat to be absorbed. Fat soluble vitamins can accumulate in the body’s tissue.
The Immune System
Vitamin D plays an important role in both innate and adaptive immune responses. The active form of Vitamin D plays a key role in maintaining immune homeostasis.
D3 is an immunomodulator targeting various immune cells, including monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, as well as T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes. Several epidemiological studies have linked inadequate vitamin D levels to a higher susceptibility of immune-mediated disorders including chronic infections and autoimmune diseases
An autoimmune condition occurs when the body’s immune system malfunctions. It mistakenly identifies healthy cells and tissues as foreign invaders and starts attacking and destroying them. This can happen in almost any part of the body, including the brain, muscles, skin, and other organs. Autoimmune diseases associated with low vitamin D include multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), diabetes mellitus (DM), inflammatory bowel disease and lupus.
Protects Against Cancer
Vitamin D has demonstrated cancer-protective and anti-cancer properties. These properties include triggering apoptosis (programmed cell death), inhibiting cancer cell growth, and reducing metastatic potential.
Multiple studies show an increased risk of cancers, including colon, breast, ovarian and prostate cancers, among people with vitamin D deficiency. Studies have also linked higher levels of vitamin D with a lowered risk of certain cancers and a better cancer outcome.
Prevents Cognitive Decline
Dementia is a syndrome (group of symptoms), usually chronic and progressive, associated with the loss of memory and other cognitive functions. It is caused by different brain illnesses that affect thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language, judgment, behavior, and memory without a lack of consciousness. These symptoms are severe enough to interfere with a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks.
Numerous studies have shown that vitamin D may reduce the risk of cognitive decline. In a 2014 study, researchers found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer’s. Individuals with severe vitamin D deficiency (less than 10 ng/mL) had a 122% increased risk of dementia and Individuals deficient (less than 20 ng/mL) in vitamin D had a 51% risk of dementia. Vitamin D3 has neuroprotective effects including the clearance of amyloid plaques.