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Monthly Newsletter November 2011


This month's newsletter is a discussion of the many wonderful health benefits of VITAMIN D. Vitamin D has gotten a lot of press in recent years about how beneficial this nutrient can be to a person's health, and rightfully so.Some of you reading this newsletter already are supplementing your diet with Vitamin D and are pleased with the positive changes in your health. I salute you for being proactive with your health. There may be some who have stayed away from this nutrient because you have heard that too large a dose could be toxic. Let's see if we can clear up the confusion so more of you will feel good about adding this nutrient to your current list of nutritional supplements.

Vitamin D is now understood to be an important immune modulator----- meaning that it boosts immunity when it is weak and suppresses immunity when it is overreacting, as in the case of autoimmune diseases.

Several forms of vitamin D exist. The two major forms are vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol, and vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol. Vitamin D3 is produced by ultraviolet irradiation (UV) of its precursor 7-dehydrocholesterol found in the skin. This is why vitamin D is sometimes called the "sunshine vitamin". When we get direct exposure to the sun we are making vitamin D. What a wonderful thing! Our bodies are wise beyond belief!

Vitamin D3 is the natural, and most active, form and is the one that I feel is the only safe form of vitamin D to use as a supplement. If you are currently taking a vitamin D product check to see if it is Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) or Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). In my opinion Vitamin D2 supplements, over the counter, or by prescription should be avoided.

After vitamin D3 is produced in the skin it positively affects many parts of the body, including the bones, immune system, and nervous system. When I check vitamin D levels of my patients I am amazed how often I find low blood levels even though we live in the "Sunshine State". One of the reasons for this unfortunate circumstance is the phobia of skin cancers. So many people now routinely use sun screens and limit their sun exposure that we are seeing an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency and this is disrupting the normal function of the immune system.

Since most medical doctors do not routinely order the Vitamin D blood test (25- hydroxy vitamin D test) let me encourage you to ask your doctor to include this test on your next blood panel.

I prescribe vitamin D for many health conditions and at times I will start a patient on very high doses. When taken under professional supervision this is perfectly safe for several days to several weeks. We are talking doses of 10,000 I.U to 50,000 I.U. daily. For the average adult that would like to boost their immune system, improve bone strength, or prevent cancer I would suggest 4,000 I.U. to 6,000 I.U. daily. Those with autoimmune diseases or cancer may require much higher doses initially. British researchers found that women with breast cancer and the highest blood levels of vitamin D had the best prognosis. Pregnant or nursing mothers should consider supplementing with 8,000 I.U. each day.

WHY VITAMIN D?

Many researchers believe that approximately 70% of people in the United States and Canada are vitamin D deficient. This problem is easily correctable if the populations knew of this problem and were not afraid of daily supplementation.

The reason we should all be excited about the power of vitamin D can be seen when reviewing the following list of health benefits.

  • 1. Prevents Osteoporosis
  • 2.Extremely effective in treating Arthritis
  • 3.It is a powerful anti-inflammatory
  • 4. Helps maintain a healthy Immune System (prevents colds & flu)
  • 5. Has been shown to lower the risk of 18 types of cancer/
  • 6. Lowers the risk of Cardiovascular disease
  • 7.Lowers the risk of Diabetes
  • 8.Protects against bacterial & viral infections
  • 9. Decreases Mental Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
  • 10. Prevent High Blood Pressure
  • 11.Can be used to treat Congestive Heart Disease
  • 12. And much more!

Sun exposure is your best source of quality vitamin D and best of all it is free, especially here in Florida! Twenty to thirty minutes of sun exposure between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. can go a long way in providing enough vitamin D to avoid serious deficiency.

"The Sunshine Vitamin"

Sun exposure for less than an hour at mid-day in the summer months can produce from 15,000 to 20,000 I.U. of vitamin D. Studies have shown that Northern populations (which receive less natural UVB light) have higher cancer incidence and cancer mortality than Southern populations.

The most absorbable form of Vitamin D that I have ever found is emulsified D3 from Biotics Research. Each drop contains 2,000 I.U. of vitamin D and the bottle contains 750 drops. Taking an average dose of 6,000 I.U. daily this bottle should last 8 months. This could be the best $20.00 you ever spend on yourself!

Unfortunately nature does not give us a wide variety of foods that contain significant quantities of Vitamin D.

However, some relative good sources of vitamin D include: tuna, salmon, mackerel, fish oil, cheese, beef liver, and egg yolks.

If you fall into one of the categories listed below you should seriously consider supplementing with vitamin D each day and doses slightly higher than the average adult dose of 4,000 I.U. to 6,000 I.U. daily.

Overweight people. Individuals who are overweight often have considerably higher needs for vitamin D because vitamin D is oil soluble and hidden in their fat.

Pregnant women. New evidence suggests that vitamin D levels during pregnancy may be critically important for you and your baby.

The elderly. As you age, your skin loses the ability to generate vitamin D. Plus, the elderly tend to spend more time indoors.

Dark-skinned people.Darker-skinned people have higher melanin levels, which blocks UVB radiation and limits the body's ability to produce vitamin D3.

One of the reasons that vitamin D is so important to our overall health is the fact that vitamin D is critical for normal gene expression. Vitamin D plays a vital role in at least two thousand genes responsible for disease prevention; therefore you can see how deficiencies of this substance can cause far reaching health issues.

A 2008 study by the Archives of Internal Medicine, (a publication of the American Medical Association), showed that the risk of death from all causes can be decreased by 26 percent with vitamin D supplementation.

Do not be afraid of Vitamin D!

It would take obscenely high daily doses (150,000 I.U. to 500,000 I.U.) of this vitamin for months to cause any toxicity. Any rational person would not be taking the extremely high doses required to reach Vitamin D overdose.

Should you have questions about the topic discussed above please e-mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call me at 386-956-1668. I am here to help. You can also visit my website at www.drstephenhayman.com. You will find earlier newsletters archived there to help you continue to educate yourself about health.

Healthy Transformations 820 W. New York Ave. DeLand, FL. 32720

I am currently accepting new patients for nutritional assessment and dietary coaching.

Have a Healthy Day!

Dr. Stephen W. Hayman