‘Vitamin D is formed in the body from the action of sunlight on the skin. Ultraviolet light consists of ultraviolet A, B and C wavelengths. UVB acts on a chemical in the skin, one of the by-products of cholesterol metabolism, to form other chemicals which then become vitamin D. Vitamin D is intimately involved in the normal growth and development of bone, and in the absorption of calcium from food and its deposition in bone.’ (See Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Website – http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis.org/Recovery-Program/Sunlight-and-Vitamin-D/)
When I attended the Gawler Foundations MS Retreat hosted by Dr George Jelinek in 2006, I had never thought of the relationship between ill health and a deficiency in Vitamin D. Here I learnt that one of the interesting facts relating to MS demographics was that the further one lives from the equator (warm climates), the more instances of people receiving a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. I live in Victoria, Australia, although the summers here can be scorchers, there tends to be fewer daysoverall where a person feels the need to take off their long sleeves and soak up the Sunshine.
I had always preferred winter when I could layer up and as I battled with body confidence issues throughout much of my life, stripping down in summer was a thing I dreaded.
But at what cost?
According to the information I received at the MS Retreat in 2006, it was possible there was a very strong link between my having a deficiency in Vit D and my diagnosis with MS. The Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS) website advises that ‘the vitamin D MS theory was first proposed by Goldberg in 1974. He felt that getting insufficient sunlight to form vitamin D could be the trigger for MS in genetically susceptible people. He calculated, in relation to vitamin D and MS, on the basis of amount of sunshine in areas with little MS, and the rate at which vitamin D is formed in the body, that it would take 3 800 international units of vitamin D daily to prevent the onset of MS. Incredibly, exactly this dose has recently been calculated to be the amount of vitamin D required to maintain a steady reasonable vitamin D level.‘ (http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis.org/Recovery-Program/Sunlight-and-Vitamin-D/)
Other symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency include but are not limited to:
- General muscle pain and weakness
- Muscle cramps
- Joint pain
- Chronic pain
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Restless sleep
- Poor concentration
- Bladder problems
- Constipation or diarrhea
According to Dr Frank Lipman – ‘it is estimated that anywhere from 30 to 100% of Americans, depending upon their age and community living environments, are deficient in Vitamin D. More than half of all American children are vitamin deficient. Supposedly almost 3/4s of pregnant women are vitamin D deficient, predisposing their unborn children to all sorts of problems. Worldwide, it is estimated that the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency affects one billion people.’ According to Dr Lipman, 80% of his patients whose vitamin D levels were check were found to be deficient.’ (See http://www.drfranklipman.com/symptoms-diseases-associated-with-vitamin-d-deficiency/)
According to Lipman, diseases associated with a deficiency in Vitamin D include, but might not be limited to:
- Osteoporosis and Osteopenia
- 17 varieties of Cancer (including breast, prostate and colon)
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes
- Autoimmune diseases
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Infertility and PMS
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Chronic Pain
- Periodontal disease
Protecting ourselves and our children from the damaging impact of too much sun exposure is definitely wise however, 10 minutes of full sun daily is incredibly beneficial for our overall health and wellbeing.
FYI: You can’t absorb Vitamin D through clothing, or by sitting in a sun filled room or by sitting in the sun fully clothed, so STRIP off into your bathers on a sunny day, or even better – get NAKED!
If there is no sunshine where you live, or it’s the middle of winter, make sure you take a decent supplement
I can tell you without hesitation that my energy levels, depression, chronic pain, and mental clarityALL greatly improved following increasing my Vitamin D levels. I make sure to have my levels tested now every 6 months to make sure they never fall low again and I ensure all my family take a supplement on days when we are unable to get out into the SUNSHINE!
So take those clothes off and get some SUN today!